Tottenham Hotspur can finally cash in on Harry Winks this summer.
The long-serving academy graduate has been the subject of interest from several Premier League teams and as a result, has been left out of Spurs’ pre-season tour of South Korea in a bid to resolve his future.
Winks joined the Tottenham academy aged just five and started to feature in and around the first team by the 2013/14 campaign. That summer, he would go on to sign his first professional deal before making his senior debut in the Europa League against FK Partizan.
However, the Hemel Hempstead-born star has struggled to maintain a place in the starting lineup, despite a large turnover of managers, ever since Mauricio Pochettino departed N17.
Winks could not break into the side regularly under Jose Mourinho, Nuno Santo or Antonio Conte. The Argentine, however, coached Winks in 115 of those matches and at one stage, tipped the Englishman for international stardom.
“Harry has the profile of the perfect midfield player,” said Pochettino in September 2018. “His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like [Spain greats] Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta, he’s like this type of player.”
Now nearly five years on, that has been far from the case and if anything, his Spurs career is bordering on being similar to a Tom Huddlestone or Jake Livermore.
When you consider that Winks is earning around £50k-per-week, for largely sitting on the bench or in the stands, you soon realise that he is becoming deadwood in north London.
Since he signed those professional terms, the England flop has cost chairman Daniel Levy in excess of £16.6m, when you factor in his wages pre- and post-contract extension in 2019 (£3.6m between 2015 and 2018, £13m between 2018 and 2022).
For someone not really playing much anymore – he has started only 18 Premier League games since 2020 – it’s an extortionate amount wasted and is the sort of finances that could have been spent on a new player.
By comparison, Middlesbrough right wing-back Djed Spence is expected to cost in the region of £15m.
As such, Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici are surely capable of axing him this summer as it’s time for the player to enjoy a fresh start elsewhere – with Oliver Skipp returning from injury and the arrival of Yves Bissouma from Brighton, there’s little chance of a comeback story for Winks at Hotspur Way.
AND in other news, Spurs could make another signing after Djed Spence…