Harry Winks was handed a rare lifeline on Saturday afternoon as he was named in Tottenham Hotspur’s starting XI for the very first time in the Premier League this season.
The 25-year-old midfielder was on the cusp of leaving the north London outfit in the summer, the club he’s been at since 2002.
Back in June, it was claimed new sporting director Fabio Paratici had explained to the Englishman that he was surplus to requirements and that the club would listen to offers for him during the summer transfer window, per Football Insider.
And in the absence of several key stars, the Portuguese head coach turned to the Hotspur Way academy graduate for the first time this season – something he may want to think twice about in the future after he disappointed once again.
Winks could only muster up nine league starts last season and he has not featured for England since November 2020, and there’s a reason for that as he has not been good enough for quite some time.
The £18m-rated star’s poor form was highlighted once again this weekend after a disastrous afternoon against Crystal Palace, with the home side running away with a 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park.
After Japhet Tanganga was sent off, it was Winks who made way – an expendable piece of the starting XI and in those 60 minutes, he struggled to get a foothold on the game – not what you want from your deep-lying playmaker.
He recorded fewer touches (35) than even goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (38) and failed to do much at either end of the pitch. As usual, his passing was on point, registering a 91% accuracy rate from 23 attempts but none were key chances, whilst none of his crosses or long balls were successful either.
Winks also made just two interceptions and failed to record a single tackle, block or clearance, as per SofaScore, so it begs the question – what exactly does he offer?
Ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino once claimed the £75k-per-week dud had ” the profile of the perfect midfield player” and compared him to Spanish greats Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
“His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player,” he explained via the Evening Standard.
But on the above evidence, he’s been falling further and further away from reaching that sort of potential.
Nuno had the technically gifted Tanguy Ndombele available on the bench, whilst Giovani Lo Celso will be back later this week and then next season, summer signing Pape Matar Sarr could come into the equation, too.
The 47-year-old must not turn to Winks again after another disappointing performance for the Lilywhites.