Harry Winks is one of those players that flies under the radar, but can he be the missing link to drive Tottenham forward?
The Hemel Hempstead-born midfielder has yet to start 100 games for his beloved Spurs but has firmly become a fan favourite and an England international in his rapid but unspectacular rise to prominence.
Winks, still only 22, is a combative and feisty midfielder; the Tottenham starlet goes unnoticed by the media and some fans, perhaps because he has only managed one Premier League goal and two assists.
A lot of Winks’ game goes unnoticed. Hardworking, industrious and disciplined, he plays the pivot role in Tottenham’s midfield with maturity and composure beyond his years. His range of passing is pleasing to the eye, as are his surging drives forward.
The key to the 22-year-old’s game is that not only is he disciplined in defence but he allows the team to transitioninto an attack at pace with his quick and incisive forward passing.
Although Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama can both play the defensive midfield role well, neither has the touch and vision that allows Tottenham to be as fluid in moving from defence to attack like young Winks.
The youth-team product, whose career and development has been stalled by injuries that would have knocked lesser characters back, has played in every single Champions League game for Tottenham this season – such is Pochettino’s faith in him.
The young midfielder’s touch, movement and eye for a forward pass quickly are the key to his game. Although he has areas to improve, there is little doubt that Tottenham as a team look far more fluid when he starts.
Winks needs to add more goals and assists but they are not the fundamentals on which his game is based; his intelligence in his positioning, his all-action non-stop style and sheer determination making him a key player for Tottenham going forward in 2019.
The Spurs faithful can often be heard in full chorus singing “he’s one of our own” about Harry Kane – no doubt that this chant will be heard about Winks in more regularity as the years go by.
Pochettino will long hope that Winks remains under the radar. The Tottenham boss fully appreciates what he has to offer the club, the skills the midfielder offers to the team and could well see him as the missing link.