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Harry Winks is back, and ready to work his way into Spurs’ midfield

After missing basically eight months with an ankle injury, Winks made his Premier League return against Fulham. Now he wants to help Spurs win things.

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

When Harry Winks took the pitch in the final minute of Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 win over Fulham, it marked the first time since the FA Cup win over Rochdale in February that he had played competitive football. In truth, we could go back even further — it had been since Boxing Day, 2017 that we last saw Winksy in a Premier League match.

That’s a long time, and Winks knows it too. In an interview posted on Tottenham Hotspur’s official website today, the young academy graduate midfielder said that he’s doing well and ready to get back to competitive minutes, but hinted that the possibility of re-injuring his ankle isn’t ever too far from his mind.

“I’m feeling good, feeling fit. My ankle is feeling strong at the moment which is good so as long as I manage it well and stay on top of it relentlessly, which I will do, then everything should be all good.

“It’s horrible being injured. Speak to any footballer when they’re injured, watching the game and not playing – it’s the worst thing but it’s part of football, part of the game and you’ve got to deal with it. Whatever happens in the game, it’s the way you bounce back and hopefully it’s going to be a fresh and very good season for me.

“It was really good to get back out on the pitch against Fulham – it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working hard over the last few months to get fit and get back out there and to do that, play back in the Premier League and see the team win, it’s a great feeling.”

In the article, the Club calls Winksy’s drive to manage his injury his “unrelenting approach,” which coincidentally is also the name of my Chas & Dave cover band.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Spurs could really use Winksy’s minutes. He was an important contributor to the side in the first half of the 2017-18 season, and losing half a season to injury cut short what might have been a breakthrough season. With the return of Mousa Dembele as well, Spurs are no longer in such a dire midfield crunch as they were at the start of the season, but Winks is instant competition (and a likely upgrade) on Moussa Sissoko or Luke Amos in the pivot.

Last year, Winks got a lot of minutes in the Champions League, and with Spurs competing on multiple fronts again this season it’s likely that if he stays healthy he’ll get plenty of chances to prove himself.

“Especially in the Premier League, there’s so much competition so you have to be on top of your game. We have a great squad here and we all do that every week.

“From my point of view, it’s all positive because we’ve got a good mood in the camp, a good mentality going into the season, we’ve got six points out of six so far and hopefully we can have another really good year as a Club.”

We talk a lot about Tottenham’s academy and bringing young players through into the first team, but Winksy is really the only player since Harry Kane to actually accomplish that feat. He’s still young, very talented, and appears to be hungry to fight for his minutes. That’s a positive thing for Spurs, who will need every player to pull their weight if they intend to compete for honors this season.