Tottenham Hotspur continue to be linked with Barcelona’s on-loan midfielder Andre Gomes.
Sport claimed earlier this week that personal terms between Spurs and Gomes had been agreed and that the Catalan giants are set to receive a bid in the region of €30million (£26m) for the 25-year-old.
And yet, something feels off.
The star has spent the season in the Premier League with Everton and he has hardly set the world alight. He has scored once and laid on one assist in the top-flight across 27 games. Those are hardly the statistics of a £26m player.
Now, Spurs do need a midfielder. They lost Mousa Dembele in January and he has not been adequately replaced but there is one man in the squad who appears to have been forgotten about: Harry Winks.
Winks is a more defensive-minded midfielder than Dembele and, while he has struggled with a groin problem this season, it is remarkable to think that Gomes could waltz in and instantly take his spot in the team.
After all, the Barca man is hardly going to replace creative fulcrum Christian Eriksen further up the pitch and nor is he going to dislodge Moussa Sissoko, the club’s best midfielder and engine room powerhouse. Similar in style, Gomes’ position in Tottenham’s strongest XI is surely the one Winks occupies when fit.
Winks has played fewer games than Gomes in the Premier League this season but still, the statistics bear out that it should be the Englishman starting next season at the base of Spurs’ midfield.
In the defensive phase, per WhoScored, Winks makes an average of 1.8 tackles per game to Gomes’ 1.4, concedes just 0.4 fouls per 90 minutes to his counterpart’s 1.8 and makes marginally more interceptions (0.8 to 0.7). He is also dribbled past, on average, 0.3 times per game. Gomes’ number is 1.7.
Perhaps, though, it is offensively where the current Toffee thrives? Nope. While Gomes has more shots (0.8 to 0.3) on average, he has scored the same amount of goals as Winks and also loses the ball far more. Per 90, he loses the ball 1.9 times per game. Winks gives possession away 0.9 times.
This is not to mention Winks’ control of the ball; he is able to command a midfield and has a pass completion rate of 91.8%. Gomes’ is 84.8% and that is from nine fewer passes per game.
Now, Pochettino has worked miracles before. One need only look at the renaissance of Sissoko for evidence of that, but this pursuit of the Portugal international makes precious little sense.
Yes, Spurs need depth in midfield, but spending £26m on a player of similar style who is clearly worse than Winks, a player who need only return to fitness to get back into the team, is negligence in the extreme. Money down the train.