Scout Report: Harry Winks, Tottenham's next homegrown talent
Tottenham Hotspur, for quite some time now, have had a line of English talents in their squad. The North London club invest very wisely in the transfer market and prefer to snap up talented English players on a very regular basis. They've also tried to promote players from their youth academy.
Harry Kane is perhaps their finest youth product for quite some time now. His namesake, Harry Winks, got promoted from Tottenham U23 side to the first team last season where he signed an extension with the club till 30 June 2022, thus making it clear he is in the long-term plans of the club.
Harry Winks was born on 2nd February 1996, in England. He grew up in his native Hemel Hempstead and received his education and upbringing there. He is of Spanish descent through his mother and grandparents. From his childhood days, he has been a fan of Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder joined Spurs at the age of 11 and steadily made progress through the youth ranks before joining the Tottenham U21 in 2014 from the U18s. A couple of seasons later, he got promoted to the U23 squad and eventually made his debut in the first team in the same season. He has already signed a couple extensions with the club over his initial contract which proves the club are willing to take a gamble on him.
Style and strengths
Harry Winks is primarily a central midfielder who can take up the role of playing defensively or push a bit forward up and be a playmaker, much like Thiago Alcantara. He has also drawn comparisons to Andres Iniesta which shows the potential he has. He is nicknamed ‘Little Iniesta' by Mauricio Pochettino.
He is a very intelligent player who passes and dribbles pretty well. He drops deep at times to pick up the ball and initiate counters. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has a tendency to dictate play from the centre of the park and makes key passes very well.
A calm player on the field, he can handle the situation well when an opponent closes him down; his small size being an advantage, he can move past opponents with ease much to their agony.
On a technical and even mental side of the game, Harry Winks has literally no such weaknesses which he has already displayed on the field. What puts him off, is his physical stature. He not exactly muscular and stands a 1.78m which a disadvantage particularly against teams that prefer playing a physical style of football and contain a large number of crafty players.
Much like Mesut Ozil, Winks has another problem of being too unselfish. Even in goal scoring positions, he'll look up for someone to pass and who may or may not be better placed than him. He has the ability and potential to help his team more by taking up scoring opportunities like his teammate Dele Alli does on a regular basis.
Tottenham have never been short of playmakers. Even after big names like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale left the club, they've been ably replaced by the club management, showing their efficiency and decision-making abilities. Harry Winks is right up there with those big names, the next big playmaker Tottenham will have in their squad, but this time, it'll be a bit more special as it'll be a homegrown player who will make him connect with the fans to a greater extent.
Despite having Spanish connections, he has expressed his desire in public to represent England at senior level. In an interview he told the following words :
"I've got Spanish grandparents and I've got a connection with Spain. But I consider myself English and I want to play for England. That's what I've said all along."
The youngster has already represented England at all the youth levels since U17 and had also received an appearance for England U21s under his belt and it'll only be a matter of time before he becomes a full time international.
Right now, he is in need of regular first team football and if he does not find adequate minutes on the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur, he should go out on a loan move to gain confidence by playing and improving himself to be a better player in the days to come. Tottenham have a gem in their team in Winks and he must be nurtured well. After all, we definitely know the reason he has been compared to the greatest playmaker of this generation and ‘Little Iniesta' is a player to watch out for in the seasons to come.