Harry Winks had not started a competitive match in six months before he was handed a place in Tottenham Hotspur’s XI against Liverpool on Sunday.
Injury has curtailed the 22-year-old’s progress, and he was thrown into the deep end when Jurgen Klopp’s team visited Wembley at the weekend.
Spurs headed into the clash hoping to recover from a 2-1 loss to Watford, which occurred prior to the international break.
Before the weekend, the defeat at Vicarage Road was the one blot on a bright start to the season for a club that did not buy one single signing in the summer window.
Winks – valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt – usually plays central midfield, but he was positioned on the left against Liverpool, and throughout the fixture he was ineffective.
Winks’s performance could partly be down to the fact that he was given an unfamiliar role, but his fitness must also be taken into consideration.
The midfielder was unable to successfully break down Liverpool’s attacks nor did he produce any killer passes for his teammates down the other end.
In fact, he gave away two free kicks and he had the lowest passing accuracy than all of the outfield players that started the match.
Although, it has to be noted that Winks was hauled off by manager Mauricio Pochettino with 17 minutes left on the clock.
Overall, it was a disappointing match for Tottenham as they were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool, who could have sealed the win with four or five goals had they been more clinical in the final third.
As for Winks, more minutes on the pitch will help with match sharpness, and it may be best for Pochettino to play the youngster more centrally next time.