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Holtby: Premier League is 'brutally tough'

Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby has said he is "living the dream" in England, despite describing Premier League football as "brutally tough".

Germany Under-21 captain Holtby moved to White Hart Lane from Bundesliga club Schalke last month, and has come on twice as a substitute in the games at Norwich and West Brom.

The 23-year-old said he was relishing playing in the "motherland of football", writing on his www.fussball.de blog: "I have been living my dream for the past few days. I am playing at an absolute top club in the Premier League.''

Holtby, whose father is English, said he had always wanted to play in the Premier League, with his switch from Germany having been brought forward from the summer to January.

"The day the transfer went through, I left for London with just a small suitcase - and a few hours later I was on the Tottenham training ground, getting the traditional kick up the backside from my new team-mates by means of welcoming me.

"That's the way things are here in London - hard, but hearty."

He said his early substitute appearances had meant he "realised immediately that the speed and the toughness really is different here to the Bundesliga".

"It's no place for the faint-hearted, and the referees don't blow the whistle as often," he added. "The game is brutally hard, but that suits me and I really love it.

"I also loved my second game for Spurs, in which a dream goal from Gareth Bale meant I could celebrate my first win. I will never forget this game against West Brom. The fans sang a song for me for almost all of the second half.

"It was incredible and I really had goosebumps. I had never expected such support so soon.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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