Crystal Palace are set to battle it out with Southampton for the signing of Tottenham outcast Harry Winks in the summer transfer window.
A product of the Tottenham youth academy, Harry Winks, 26, broke into the scene during the 2016/17 campaign and has amassed 198 competitive appearances for the club so far. However, in recent years, the English midfielder’s stock has nosedived due to injury problems and lack of consistency.
This term, he has fallen behind the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and January arrival Rodrigo Bentancur in the midfield pecking order. Winks will certainly be open to a move in the summer in search of regular game time, having been restricted to just 14 Premier League appearances this season to date.
Spurs boss Antonio Conte is looking to reshuffle his squad in the summer and doesn’t consider Winks in his long-term plans. The north London club will listen to any practical offers for the midfielder in the upcoming transfer window, which has put Crystal Palace and Southampton on red alert.
Is Patrick Vieira keen on a central midfielder?
Crystal Palace have already started planning for next season with manager Patrick Vieira. The French tactician, 45, has done a very good job after replacing Roy Hodgson at the helm last summer, encouraging the Eagles to play a possession-based, attractive brand of football.
But Vieira will be in for a difficult summer as Palace boss, with Conor Gallagher set to return to Chelsea after the expiry of his loan spell. Gallagher, 22, is making a name for himself on loan at Palace, bagging eight goals and three assists in 25 matches. His impressive form has seen him being rewarded with a call up to the England squad, with the central midfielder bagging an assist in the Three Lions’ 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland last weekend.
The Eagles face a fight on their hands to try and turn Gallagher’s loan deal permanent at the end of the season. The way the 22-year-old has operated at the heart of Palace’s midfield under Vieira, he is expected to battle for a place in Chelsea’s starting XI next term.
Harry Winks could be a smart addition to the Eagles squad
Thus, it is imperative that Crystal Palace bring in a player to fill the void Gallagher would leave in midfield. In that regard, the south London club’s interest in Harry Winks makes sense, even though both the player’s profiles are different.
Winks has operated both as a no.6 and no.8 at Tottenham, so his versatility, coupled with his ability to distribute the ball well and positional awareness, could make him a smart addition to Patrick Vieira’s squad. And his decent Premier League experience on top of his skill-set will add more value to his name.
The 10-cap England international would get a chance to revive his career at Crystal Palace. At 26, Winks is heading towards the best years of his career and must play regularly. He has the qualities to excel at Selhurst Park and give his peak years towards the club’s rebuilding under Vieira.
Hence, the Eagles must make a genuine attempt to sign Winks from Tottenham this summer.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.