Southampton are rumoured to be interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks in the summer transfer window. Winks has come through the ranks at the North London club, debuting in 2014 and making over 160 appearances for the club.
As per Football Insider, the Saints have put Winks on their shortlist for the summer and Spurs could sell him as they’re looking at other midfield targets. The Englishman has made 24 appearances for the club this season, featuring heavily in his side’s Europa League campaign.
The 25-year-old’s current contract with the Premier League side expires in 2024, with the player having signed an extension in 2019. Harry Winks is an England international and has made 10 appearances for the senior team, four of which came last year.
Harry Winks: Should they go all out for him?
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has used Harry Winks as a bit-part player in the current season, as he has preferred midfielders like Moussa Sissoko, and last summer’s signing from Southampton, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg alongside Tanguy Ndombele. Winks was a key player for Spurs under their previous manager Mauricio Pochettino, who promoted him to the senior team and nurtured him.
But, Winks is not the kind of player that Mourinho likes in the middle of the park as the Portuguese manager prefers strong and athletic players who can do the dirty work for him on the pitch.
The English midfielder is a technically gifted player, who can control the tempo of the game from midfield with his passing and movement on and off the ball.
The 25-year-old can play as a central midfielder, or deeper in the quarter-back role, and use his passing, vision, and movement to keep the ball and move it on to the creative players in the team. He is a compact player who averages 70 passes per game with an accuracy of 90% in the eight Europa League games he’s played this season.
Winks may not be as strong and assertive as some other established central midfielders in the league, but he reads the game well and is quick enough to make plenty of interceptions in midfield. He has averaged 1.8 interceptions per game in the Europa League this season for Spurs.
Southampton’s style of play could certainly suit Winks and what he offers. Southampton play with two central midfielders – an aggressive, tackling midfielder and the other being a passer who can move the ball quickly and put in crosses in from deep. Winks will fall in the latter category which is currently occupied by Saints captain James Ward-Prowse, who is a very good operator in that role.
Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl could use Winks as a backup to Ward-Prowse in midfield, or move the Southampton captain to the wide right position and play Winks in Ward-Prowse’s role. Harry Winks would be a good signing for Saints, who need to add depth to their squad, especially in midfield, where they have very few options to choose from.