Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks is back in the England squad but he has struggled under Jose Mourinho so far this season, putting his place in danger long-term.
It’s no secret that Maurico Pochettino was a huge admirer of the 24-year-old after he handed him his Premier League debut back in 2016, coming on as Christian Eriksen’s replacement in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
But the academy graduate’s position would soon be found as a no.6 or no.8 rather than as a creative influence behind the striker. The former Spurs boss told the Evening Standard that Winks “has the profile of the perfect midfield player,” and added:
“His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player. He has the possibility and the potential, of course, but now it is up to him.”
Mourinho, however, has favoured the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, who was a forgotten man at times last season, and Moussa Sissoko, who is now the wrong side of 30.
Winks started all six of Spurs’ final top-flight matches last term but has been restricted to just four appearances this season, missing the matchday squad entirely in two of their last three outings, which is only further damning on where his future may lie under the Special One.
The €40m-rated (£36m) midfielder is now at a career crossroad – stay and fight for his place? or even potentially leave? It’s a European Championship year after all and given that he’s rarely impressed this term, his place on the plane is by no means certain.
Earlier in the summer, he was even linked with a shock £40m move to Premier League rivals Manchester City, as per The Sun
Winks possesses the lowest average rating of any Spurs player that has featured in four or more matches, managing just 6.22.
The number of key passes per game on average has halved, from 0.6 to 0.3, whilst the deep-lying playmaker has also regressed in terms of tackles per match too, with the figure decreasing from 1.3 to just one, when comparing last campaign to 2020/21, via WhoScored.
It seems like Winks is very much on the outside looking in under Mourinho and that means he’s at risk of becoming another Tom Carroll or Sandro, who neither hit the heights that they should’ve in N17.
In fact, the Brazilian’s game time diminished season by season at Spurs, very much in a similar nature to Winks right now. They too have played similar roles but will often be remembered for their sideways and backwards passing, more so than any sort of lasting legacy.
That is something that Pochettino could never have imagined.
AND in other news, Spurs must regret losing “explosive” speed demon who is the next Jadon Sancho…