Harry Winks’ future at Tottenham Hotspur could be in even more doubt following the appointment of Antonio Conte.
The 52-year-old boss is already targeting midfield additions and he could look to raid one of his former clubs, according to emerging reports…
Italian outlet Calciomercato.it claims the new Spurs boss has as many as six different targets from the Serie A on his shortlist ahead of the January transfer window, in which Inter Milan star Marcelo Brozovic is one.
The vastly-experienced Croatian is out of contract at the end of the season, so he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any team outside of Italy from the turn of the year, whilst he could be available for as little as €20m (£18m) in January, as a result.
Ex-Lilywhites boss Jose Mourinho once dubbed Brozovic “the top of the top” and a “fantastic player” to talkSPORT. He added: “Aggression but at the same time great technique and arrival in the box and coming from a more defensive position.”
That glowing endorsement provides some idea into the sort of player that Spurs would be getting, should they follow through with interest. And Brozovic very much sounds like someone capable of not only filling the role Winks plays but actually upgrading it.
It’s believed that the out-of-favour England midfielder will seek a temporary exit from the club in January, as per The Times, but you’d have to imagine that his long-term future is doubtful too, given his lack of game time and inconsistencies over the past 18 to 24 months.
Brozovic has been likened to Frank Lampard in the past, so it’s no wonder Mourinho is a huge fan, whilst his old manager Luciano Spalletti once claimed the 28-year-old beast had a “compass in the foot.”
The £36m-rated Inter star contributed two goals and six assists in 33 league appearances on their way to clinching the Serie A title under Conte last season.
He ended the campaign as their fourth highest-rated player (7.03) by WhoScored as he led the side for tackles (1.6) and key passes (1.4) per game and wasn’t too far behind for interceptions (1.2) either.
Elsewhere, an average of 66.7 passes per game saw him rank third in the squad and that’s even more impressive considering his 89.6% passing accuracy, thus living up to Spalletti’s glowing endorsement.
Winks has not surprised an average of 1.3 tackles or 0.6 key passes across the last three Premier League seasons in north London, so the difference is stark.
Therefore, it would be wise for Spurs to cave into Conte’s demands to sign Brozovic. He could be a very shrewd signing to help transform their fortunes on the pitch.
It’s time to sanction Winks’ departure and bring in the Croatian to replace him this January.