Tottenham just recently closed the deal for German International Lewis Holtby, and after his first day of training, they snagged an interview with him.
Welcome to Spurs. You’ve just had your first training session, how did it feel to be out there?
It was very comfortable. I had to go through the tunnel for the new players (the lads formed a guard for him to run through on his first day) and I got a little stick, so it all started with a smile. I’m so pleased to be here, in the dressing room, on the training pitch. I’ve had a fantastic first day. I can’t wait to play my first game.
How does it feel to be here in January?
It’s fantastic. I wanted a quick decision and it happened like that. I can now settle in to the Tottenham Hotspur way for a few days before the international fixture next week. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and hope we qualify for the Champions League.
First thing’s first, you’ve trained with the lads, what do you make of the facilities at our new Training Centre?
It’s massive, fantastic. The best I’ve seen. I’m so proud to be here and to be able to work in such a fantastic facility. It’s Champions League (facilities) and it’s now up to us to get there.
More from Lewis Holtby after the jump.
What do you think of the move to Spurs and the Premier League?
It’s fantastic to be here, a huge club, a club that’s getting bigger and bigger every year. I’ve been looking at the club and there is so much quality here, the coaching staff is fantastic, the facilities, it’s the full package. All that and a great city like London. I’m very happy – like footballer’s say, I’m over the moon! I’m very pleased to be here, thankful and I will do my best.
You told us you follow the Premier League closely in Germany, so you know plenty about the Club?
Of course, I follow on Twitter, YouTube, I’ve got the App on my phone. I’m keen to get every result and watch every game. I’m so excited to be here and living it now. From my perspective, I live day to day, I open my eyes with a smile and close my eyes with a smile. I’m very happy now I’ve achieved (my ambition) to play in the Premier League and especially at a club like Tottenham Hotspur.
You were born and bred in Germany, but the English influence in your life is clear through your father, Chris.
Yes, until my 16th birthday, I always wore an England shirt. My dad brought me up as English, we lived down the road from an English camp. My dad was in the RAF all his life. He met my mum in Germany. We watched the Premier League and I was brought up on English television. I always used to get stick from the German lads at school when England lost! It was a fantastic time for me. Obviously, I’m also so proud to be German as well and to win my first cap for Germany at Under-18 level was a real honour for me.
Since then, you’ve been capped by the full national team. That must have been a huge honour…
Yes, absolutely. First of all, I was Under-21 captain and we’re through to the finals in Israel (the Euro U21 Finals this summer), a fantastic honour for me and then to win three caps for the one of the best international teams in the world, with so many world-class players, that makes me proud as well. It’s great to play for Germany, there is such a great atmosphere and everyone saw that when we hosted the World Cup in 2006. I keep both countries close to my heart and that’s why I always wanted to play in the Premier League. I always watched it on TV and I loved the games, loved the fans and the atmosphere and I can’t wait to make my first appearance.
We know how much it must mean to join us because you’ve stepped out of the Champions League with Schalke to make the move. That really shows your commitment…
I played Champions League with Schalke this season, we thought to the last 16 against Galatasaray, but for me, since I decided to join Spurs in the summer, I had the feeling that I wanted to come here straight away. I wanted to feel it from the beginning. Maybe I need these months now to fit in as soon as possible. The talks with Andre Villas-Boas also made me feel so comfortable and I wanted to come here as soon as possible. All respect to Schalke as well. I had some great times there. I’m thankful to them. They gave me the opportunity to produce at a higher level and to get an offer from a team like Tottenham. I thank them for that.