Dele Alli isn’t the only player to benefit from Tottenham Hotspur’s change in management this season.
Since former Wolves boss Nuno Santo has taken to the Spurs dugout, however, the Englishman has started 100% of their league games this far, already playing more than a third of his total minutes from last season.
Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have looked an entirely different prospect too, keeping three straight clean sheets despite being lambasted as “one of the worst” partnerships in the Premier League by ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara last season.
Another name who appears to have been given a major lifeline is academy graduate Harry Winks.
According to The Sun on deadline day, the 25-year-old has left an impression on the Portuguese coach throughout pre-season and he is expected to garner much more game-time than last term.
Winks’ lack of minutes on the pitch saw him miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020, despite being capped ten times by the Three Lions boss.
During the summer, he was regularly linked with a move away. There was £25m interest from Manchester United, whilst the likes of Leeds, Aston Villa and Everton were all mooted as potential destinations.
However, Winks has started both of Tottenham’s UEFA Europa Conference League matches and could well play a big part as the season goes on.
The £18m-rated ace made 15 appearances in the Premier League last season, playing a total of just 860 minutes. This is a player who Mauricio Pochettino once likened to Spanish legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi, yet he struggled to break into the squad under Mourinho.
Per the Evening Standard, Spurs’ former head coach said in 2018: “Harry has the profile of the perfect midfield player. His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player.”
This is surely the sort of profile of midfielder that Nuno would love, having had the pleasure of coaching Joao Moutinho at Molineux for the past few seasons.
That could be a big reason why he hasn’t allowed the deep-lying playmaker to leave in this transfer window, and as the report suggests, we could well see Winks as the latest Spurs player to be reborn under the new Spurs boss.
AND in other news, Dier out, Ndombele in? Nuno Santo’s best Spurs XI after Deadline Day…