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Who are Ezekiel Fryers and Lewis Holtby?

Tottenham Hotspur have been surprisingly busy during the opening days of the transfer window, already confirming the arrival of two new faces in the first week of January. But who are Spurs’ two new faces at White Hart Lane? Matt Walsh gives us the run down.

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Daniel Levy has had a busy first ten days of the January transfer window, bringing in two players to our young Tottenham Hotspur squad, Zeki Fryers and Lewis Holtby, the latter joining on a free transfer in July, subject to a medical.

But, what of these two young players? Will they fit in with the style that Andre Villas Boas likes to play, a high pressure, possession-based game?

Firstly, let’s examine Zeki Fryers and his potential. The ex-Manchester United left back felt undervalued and underrated back at Old Trafford, and when Tottenham Hotspur and Villas-Boas came calling in the summer, it seemed like he wanted to jump ship to White Hart Lane. After an impressive trial with Spurs in the summer, it seemed that we wanted the young left back, but couldn’t afford the fee.

Instead Fryers joined Standard Liege, six months later the young defender arrives at Hotspur Way, we all know Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t handle this and lost his head in a recent press conference. Ferguson got Levyed.

Fryers is a left back with blistering pace and likes to get forward as much as possible. The youngster is also comfortable at centre back, having played there on occasions for the United youth team and reserve team. He looked very comfortable in Manchester United reserves games, especially against Chelsea when he assisted United’s first goal with a nice pull back for teammate Ryan Tunnicliffe.

The 20-year-old made a handful of appearances for the United first team, but failed to impress Ferguson with appearances against Wolves and Wigan Athletic.

Fryers played his first game for the Tottenham Hotspur Development Squad on Tuesday against Charlton Athletic, winning 4-0. He had an impressive debut and the 20-year-old began the move that led to the opening goal after winning possession in midfield, passed the ball to Ryan Mason and played it to Obika who found the net.

The defender is unproven at senior level, but has shown his outstanding capability at youth and reserve level and he could become a good understudy for Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Tim Sherwood, head of football development at Spurs, said: “The plan is for him to come in and work hard with the development squad to get to a level – no guarantees – where he could perhaps play for our first team.”

Last but not least – Lewis Holtby. The German U21 captain. Schalke’s number 10 – for the time being. A blonde magician. An Aryan playmaker.

Levy has pulled out a rabbit from the hat in regards to this deal, grabbing the young German on a free, subject to a medical. But it could get even better for us, Schalke are reportedly open for us to purchase Holtby in January for a small fee.

Anywho, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this deal, what is Holtby’s footballing attributes you ask?

Well, he can play in various roles across midfield, but his main position since the departure of Raul last summer is playing behind Klass-Jan Huntelaar, a position he has excelled in so far this season.

The 22 year old was not always a part of Schalke’s plans, having been on loan at Aachen and Mainz, the latter club where he finally found his feet and produced magnificent performances, which led to Schalke implementing him in their first team in 2011.

The U21 German captain has pace, skill, quick feet, a brilliant range of passing and an eye for goal. The whole package for a midfielder. He likes to press high up the pitch, plays passes through defences like a knife through butter and can win the odd tackle.

So far in 17 Bundesliga games, Holtby has scored three and set up five goals. The Germany international has also had an impressive Champions League campaign, bagging three assists in six appearances, and most notably, tore Arsenal to shreds – home and away.  

Spurs new boy Lewis Holtby in action.



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