Aston Villa could offer Harry Winks an escape route from Tottenham Hotspur after he suffered a dramatic decrease in gametime, according to a report.
It was not that long ago that Winks was regularly called up to England squads, but he was nowhere near contention for Euro 2020. Last season, he started just nine games in the Premier League and added only six substitute appearances. It was a decrease of more than half of his total league appearances from the previous campaign.
At the age of 25, Winks should be entering his best years, but is not getting the gametime to reflect that. Therefore, he may have to seriously consider ending his 19-year association with Tottenham.
Winks joined Spurs’ academy ranks in 2002 and has never played for anyone else at senior level since making his debut in 2014. Now, that might have to change.
Some Premier League clubs could still be prepared to give him a platform. That group of suitors now includes Villa, according to the Telegraph.
Villa are looking to bolster their ranks after a promising 2020-21 season ended with a mid-table finish. Emiliano Buendia has already arrived in a club-record transfer and they now want further reinforcements in midfield.
James Ward-Prowse of Southampton appears to be a major target, as does Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal. However, the latter’s price tag is increasing by the minute.
Smith Rowe would provide more competition in the attacking midfield territory, whereas someone like Ward-Prowse or Winks would sit slightly deeper.
Clearly, Villa are looking for players in both phases of their midfield. Winks would be an interesting option to consider if he can rediscover the promise he was showing earlier in his career.
Tottenham have appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new head coach. He may have different plans for Winks than predecessor Jose Mourinho did, but it seems unlikely. In fact, Spurs are ready to listen to offers.
Therefore, a move could be in the best interests of all parties. If they firm up their interest, Villa will have to work out how much they think Winks is worth. Tottenham have him under contract until 2024, so could in theory still command a decent fee.
But his lack of gametime will have affected his market value and he will hope to increase how much he plays next season – be that at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium or elsewhere.
Villa named as ideal destination for Winks
News of Villa’s interest in Winks comes a couple of weeks after one pundit tipped them to be a good fit for the 10-cap England international.
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish told Football Insider: “Newcastle United, would they not fancy him? Aston Villa too.
“I don’t know if Aston Villa have got enough midfielders.
“He’s certainly bright enough to play for some of these teams. The price tag’s a little bit high in my opinion.
“However, I don’t think he’ll go amiss of getting a new club.”
The price tag McLeish was referring to was one in the region of £30m, as has been reported in the past. But in truth, such a figure may have decreased since it was originally suggested.
Now, Winks will have to wait to make a decision on his future as he reaches a career crossroads.