Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks was once touted to be the future at both domestic and international level.
In 2018, former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino backed him to become England’s Andres Iniesta, and the Englishman’s value soon soared to a career-best of £36m less than a year later.
“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,” claimed the Argentine to the Evening Standard.
Things have not gone to plan for Winks in the past 18 months or so.
Transfermarkt’s latest valuation update (18th March 2021) on the 25-year-old, who is soon to enter the peak years of his career, shows a drastic 45% decrease to £19.8m.
This merely emphasises how big a downfall he has had since the appointment of Jose Mourinho.
It now makes Winks the 12th-most valuable player in Spurs’ current squad, the 127th-most in the Premier League and the 352nd-most worldwide, via Transfermarkt. That’s not the levels you’d expect from someone who was once compared to a World Cup and five-time Champions League winner.
What’s to blame, though?
Well, Winks started Mourinho’s first game in charge back in December 2019 – a 3-2 win over West Ham United and even closed out the season as a first-choice option, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in their last six league outings.
But with the arrival of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the summer and the re-emergence of club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele, he has found it hard to cement down a regular spot in the starting XI.
Indeed, the 5 foot 10 academy product has been restricted to only seven league starts all campaign. Even when trusted, he’s failed to deliver, as the midfielder ranks amongst Mourinho’s worst-performers, with an average WhoScored rating of just 6.38.
No player who has started more games has delivered a poorer rating.
That has to be a major contributing factor towards his downfall.
A direct consequence of that has been his absence from Gareth Southgate’s recent England squads – a lack of game time plus inconsistent performances is a surefire way to see yourself axed from international duty.
Having picked up all ten of his Three Lions caps under the 50-year-old, Winks has not been seen since a 26-minute cameo against Iceland in November.
The latest squad even included a return for Jesse Lingard – not seen since the UEFA League Nations third-placed playoff win over Switzerland in June 2019 – and another call-up for 17-year-old wonderkid Jude Bellingham.
And when you consider it was missing the likes of James Maddison and Jack Grealish through injury, it’s hard to make a case for Winks returning before this summer’s European Championships.
Given everything mentioned above, it’s hard to see a long-term future for him at Spurs either, and this could result in chairman Daniel Levy looking to cash in whilst he still can.
But, understandably, he must be left reeling by his drastic dropoff in value, as he won’t be making as much as he would expect as say two years ago.
There have even been reports suggesting that Winks will insist on an exit this summer, that’s according to Sport (via Sport Witness), who also claim he is enticed by the idea of playing in Spain.
At £19.8m, Levy will have a hard task of driving up his price but if anyone can do it, then it’s certainly the tough negotiator himself.
AND in other news, Spurs dealt double injury blow ahead of Newcastle clash