Everton are believed to be keen on the signature of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks as new manager Rafa Benitez looks to bolster his engine room options.
According to CaughtOffside, the Toffees are one of three Premier League clubs to have shown interest in the 25-year-old, with Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion also listed as potential suitors.
The report states that: “Winks is keen to move away in January in an attempt to secure regular playing time…Although any potential move for the Englishman in January is only likely to be a loan move, the interest in securing his signature is high.”
It then goes on to claim that they have the longest-standing interest in Winks, who is reportedly seen as an alternative target to Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek.
The technically gifted talent featured prominently during the reign of former manager Mauricio Pochettino, who lavished praise on the midfielder after a late winner against Fulham two years ago.
“He deserves the praise because the whole action is amazing,” said Pochettino. “He recovered the ball like a full-back, we started to build from the back, and then he arrived for the cross from GK, which was fantastic – we have to praise him too.
“It’s amazing, amazing, because we were talking in the last few weeks that he had to score and to have more presence in the opposition’s box because he has the quality to do it. I’m so happy.”
However, the England international slipped down the pecking order under both Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo and is unlikely to feature prominently under new boss Antonio Conte due to his high-pressing, counter-attacking style.
This season, Winks has only been awarded 61 minutes of top-flight action at the north London outfit, and his potential arrival at Goodison Park could offer a significant upgrade for Benitez’s charges.
With star midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure currently sidelined through injury, the Everton chief has fielded both Tom Davies and Jean-Philippe Gbamin alongside Allan with disastrous results, losing their last two matches.
Gbamin’s performance last time out against Wolves was so poor that he was hauled off at half-time, with his horrendous injury luck over the last couple of campaigns appearing to have taken its toll. During his 45 minutes on the field, he made just 13 passes and lost three of his five duels.
Therefore. Everton’s director of football must swoop for the £18m-rated Winks over the coming months, providing Benitez with the strength in depth he needs for a successful season.