Everton are reportedly still keeping close tabs on Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks ahead of the January transfer window, with manager Rafa Benitez desperate to reinforce his struggling side.
According to Sunday People (as relayed by Goodison News), the 25-year-old is still wanted by the Toffees despite the recent departures of director of football Marcel Brands and head of recruitment and development Gretar Steinsson.
The newspaper report in their print edition (page 54, 12 December) that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will consider the sale of Winks if a suitable offer arrives over the coming months in order to provide new manager Antonio Conte suitable funds to rebuild his squad.
After rising through the ranks at his boyhood club, Winks has made 182 appearances for the north London outfit in all competitions and started their 2019 Champions League final defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
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, stating he has the “quality” to score more goals.
And Winks’ eye-catching displays at club level earned him ten senior caps for England, with ex-Spurs and Three Lions goalkeeper Paul Robinson lauding his important role in the national team setup.
“For me, I think Harry Winks is one of the best of the bunch,” said the retired 42-year-old when discussing Gareth Southgate’s midfield options.
“He dominates the game, defensively and offensively he offers you both and his ball retention, the stats speak for themselves. A fit Harry Winks is an important selection for England.”
But Winks could be the ideal solution to Everton’s engine room woes. Since James Rodriguez’s departure, the Blues have struggled to open up opposition defences on a consistent basis, scoring just 20 goals in their 16 top-flight games to date.
As per WhoScored, no Tottenham player who started a league match bettered or matched his average of 70 passes per game last season, and he also topped the charts for pass completion after achieving a 90% success rate.
Winks’ impressive figures weren’t just down to selecting the safe and simple options every time, either. He managed 1.3 key passes per Premier League fixture in 2020/21 and pulled off 4.4 long balls – of all of the capital club’s outfield players, only Toby Alderweireld completed more (7.3).
Therefore, the diminutive technician could be the catalyst to transform Everton’s disappointing campaign, and Benitez must sanction a swoop this winter in order to add more quality to his squad.
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