Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Harry Winks to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Liverpool Echo, who claim that, despite Everton being in continued negotiations regarding a £20m deal for the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Victor Orta has now made contact with Antonio Conte’s side in order to express the Whites’ interest in a move for the 26-year-old.
The report goes on to state that, with Kalvin Phillips looking set to secure a £42m move to Manchester City, Jesse Marsch is looking to strengthen his options in the middle of the park ahead of the upcoming Premier League campaign – with the 10-cap England international now emerging as a potential target.
While it is true that, following Antonio Conte’s appointment at Spurs last November, Winks has seen his game time become severely limited at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it is undeniable that, in the right system, the 26-year-old can be an extremely dangerous weapon in the middle of the park.
Indeed, despite his lack of minutes last season, according to FBref data, the £13.5m-rated talent still ranks in the top 2% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for progressive passes per 90, as well as the top 12% for passes attempted, the top 14% for xA, the top 24% for passes completed and the top 28% for progressive passes over the last 365 days.
These metrics see FBref compare the £91k-per-week Englishman to a number of impressive deep-lying play-makers, such as Chelsea’s Jorginho, Villarreal’s Dani Parejo and RC Lens’ Cheick Doucoure, while former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino even drew comparisons between Winks and Barcelona legend Xavi.
Speaking back in 2018, the Argentine coach said: “Harry has the profile of the perfect midfield player. The characteristics are perfect to play football. When we talk about midfielders, because you like to use Spanish midfielders like Xavi… he’s like this type of player, this capacity.”
As such, while it would be insincere to suggest that Winks is anywhere near the level of the player who scored 85 goals and registered 185 assists over 766 appearances for Barca, should Orta manage to get a deal over the line for the “unbelievable” talent – in the words of Jan Vertonghen – this summer, the sporting director could well have landed Leeds’ own version of the 133-cap Spain international.
Indeed, this prospect is sure to be an extremely exciting one for both the Elland Road faithful and Marsch alike.