Harry Winks isn’t expected to start today’s match against Liverpool. He hasn’t been playing much at all lately. His last match for Spurs was a starting nod in Tottenham’s Europa League win over Royal Antwerp on December 10, but you have to go back to October to find a Premier League match where he featured at all — he hasn’t played a minute of Premier League football since the 3-3 West Ham draw on October 10, and has only made the bench twice since then.
That has led to some fresh rumors emerging lately from inside the Spurs camp that Winks is dissatisfied with his playing time at Tottenham, and that he’s considering his future. That’s mostly since he needs to be playing games to be ensured a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s EUROs, but also because he was once a key player in Tottenham’s midfield under Mauricio Pochettino.
But when asked about Winks and rumors of a possible January loan for game time, his boss flat-out dismissed the idea. “In relation to Winks on loan in January, no way,” said Jose Mourinho. The implication was that despite Winks not being in his league plans, Mourinho sees Winks as important cover, especially with Spurs still competing in four competitions and the matches coming thick in fast.
However, in the same press conference, Mourinho admitted that Winks has come to see him in his office recently, presumably to discuss his lack of game time and perhaps his future.
“Yes he came to me. He came to me, not just him. Many players come to me. I have my office on the first floor but I also have a little space on the ground floor next to the players’ dressing room where I used to be before and after training session to make it easy for them. So it is easy for them to come around the corner to speak to me, so yes, Winks came to speak to me.”
Winks’ play has been... let’s just call it “divisive” amongst Tottenham’s fans this season and before, and Mourinho’s emphatic proclamation about Winks’ transfer status in January contrasts quite a bit with his relative silence on Dele, who is also marginalized out of the squad and may seek to leave the club in January. Mourinho may feel as though there’s enough offensive cover at Dele’s position and less so for where Winks plays, or that Dele is likely to command a better deal in the transfer market at the present time. Winks’ status as a homegrown player may also factor in.
Who knows! But unless something changes it does appear that Winks will be sticking around, and Dele quite possibly won’t be. I’ll leave it to others to speculate on whether that’s a good idea (though you can all probably guess my opinion).