Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has revealed that Lewis Holtby’s departure this summer is down to a mixture of personal and financial reasons.
Holtby was seen as a bit of a coup when he arrived at Ewood Park in 2019, having previously played for Tottenham, Fulham and Hamburg before becoming a free agent.
A player with huge potential as a youngster which saw him capped twice for Germany, Holtby has tried to revitalise his career at Rovers and made 27 appearances in his debut season, scoring three times and picking up four assists, although he did miss quite a few games due to a knee injury.
Holtby has similarly missed a period of games due to injury again this season but has still made 27 league outings, although he rarely completed 90 minutes and the writing was on the wall for him in recent weeks as he hasn’t made it onto the pitch since the 2-1 win against Derby in mid-April.
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Blackburn Rovers appearances?
It was never a case of Holtby not having the talent anymore to fit into Mowbray’s plans which is the reason for his departure though, as the Rovers boss explained why the German was really leaving.
“He’s had two lateral knee ligament injuries in a year, his wife gave birth, he had to fly over to Germany a few times because of family issues and then quarantine on his return,” said Mowbray, per the Lancashire Telegraph.
“I think it’s been a very stop-start season for Lewis. He now finds his wife and child in Germany and he’s had no family around him for a while.
“I think they as a family have made a decision what’s best for them and for us I think financially it probably helps us moving forward to redistribute some salary that we can help the team in other areas.”
Rovers fans seem very sad for Holtby to go, but now Mowbray has explained it all it does make a lot of sense.
The midfielder should find a decent club in Germany with relative ease and it allows Rovers to do a bit of rebuilding themselves – they clearly need it after another mid-table finish.
They’re going to save quite a bit in wages this summer it seems and they’ll also probably see a transfer fee come in for Adam Armstrong, and a freshening up could be what’s needed for the club to move forward.