Tottenham’s Harry Winks burst onto the scene last season, and suddenly became the next big thing both for his club and country.
He had made a fair few appearances for The Lilywhites the season before, mostly from the bench, but it was the first quarter of last season that he suddenly became a force in the midfield for Spurs.
These performances earned his his first England cap, which only seemed to fill him with more confidence as he went on to put in two masterful performances against European champions Real Madrid.
However, his season was cut short by by a persistent ankle injury which resulted in him having surgery and missing a large chunk of the season. This prevented him from a World Cup place, which he looked certain to earn in November last year. But he has returned this season and is slowly returning to his form from last term.
With Tottenham stalwart Mousa Dembélé nearing the end of his time with the north London club, Winks (somehow valued at just £13.5m by Transfermarkt) seems to be his heir apparent. Both are very good passers from deep midfield, and while Winks may not have the strength of the Belgian, but may have a greater passing range and ability to make scything runs forward.
The deep-lying playmaker role is something that England have not had for a very long time, and Winks slowly looks as though he can be that man. However, at only 22, he has been plagued by injury a lot, a problem that so many English players have had in the past few years. But there is no denying that he will only develop and improve should he stay fit. England have such a young and talented squad, and Winks can be the heartbeat of the team for years to come.
As to his future with Tottenham, he will certainly attract interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe when he gets back to the form that people know he is capable of. However, he is a lifelong Tottenham fan, and has been with the academy from a young age. As much as other clubs may want him, it seems unlikely that the club will sell him. Moreover, it seems unlikely that he will want to go.
We may be looking at a one-club man here. Someone that is venerated by his manager Mauricio Pochettino, and looks to be the forefront of the Argentinian’s plans at the club. The danger is that if the manager goes, he may take Winks with him. But for now, as both men seem happy where they are, Tottenham look like they will benefit from the services of Winks for a very long time.