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What is Harry Winks’ role in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side?



Seen as the long-term replacement for the outstanding Mousa Dembele, Harry Winks is yet another product of the Tottenham Hotspur youth setup that is clearly ready to play at Premier League level.

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While not as hyped as the likes of Marcus Edwards, Winks is definitely a promising youngster who already appears preferred to starlet Josh Onomah.

With Premier League minutes already this season, he has demonstrated an outstanding football brain with an understanding of the game beyond his years; his assist for Dele Alli’s goal against Everton demonstrated quick-thinking and an eye for a pass.

Within the current system, Winks is imperative during the transition phases of the game, linking defence to attack.

While Mousa Dembele can be considered the finished article in this regard – picking the ball up from deep, before moving the ball quickly or beating a man to create space – Winks has performed effectively as his understudy, albeit more in the playstyle of a certain Luka Modric – a deeper lying playmaker.

Winks uses his extensive range of passing to create play, and to link not just the defence to attack, but also play from either side. Like Dembele, the young Englishman rarely loses the ball and is a very tidy player who manager Mauricio Pochettino clearly trusts to influence the game.

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At the minute, however, Winks’ game time is limited due to the stellar performances of not just Mousa Dembele, but also that of summer signing Victor Wanyama, who has proved immense value for his £11 million move from Southampton. However, with Dembele aging – the Belgian is 29 years old, making him one of the oldest players in the starting XI – and with knee injuries frequent, Winks’ role will only become more important as he develops.

Winks could easily occupy the midfield roles against lesser Premier League sides, especially at White Hart Lane where teams will sit deep and Spurs will have to break them down. His creative abilities should not be ignored by Mauricio Pochettino, as he is often able to find gaps with his passing that the likes of Dembele and Wanyama can’t force open with brute strength.

This would also serve to give Dembele a rest to prevent further injuries. The Belgian is certainly one of Spurs’ best players but his proneness to injuries is something that must be accounted for. Moreover, the presence of Winks also means that Dembele only has to play 60 minutes a game – again reducing the chances of injury – as the 21-year-old midfielder’s versatility and playstyle allows him to slot into the system without reducing its effectiveness.

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In terms of his role, Winks is – at the minute – a squad player. He is used mainly in cup competitions and isn’t first choice, but this is to be expected – he is, after all, just 21. In time, it would surprise nobody to see Winks become first-choice at White Hart Lane, especially 4-5 years down the line, when Spurs enter their new stadium.

Luka Modric, the former Spurs player, who Winks is most similar to, has had a stellar career after leaving White Hart Lane and is widely regarded as the best deep-lying playmaker in the world. The Croatian is a player that Winks should base his game on; he looks to be essential to the Spurs system moving forwards and provides strength in depth that other teams can’t match; Winks would start in a majority of other Premier League sides.

He’s also a signal that the Spurs academy is producing players that are ready to play at Premier League level, which gives hope to other players currently in the academy, like Kaziah Sterling, and the aforementioned Marcus Edwards. The future at Spurs certainly looks very bright, with youngsters, not only in the academy, with bright futures, but indeed, some that have already made it. Harry Kane and Dele Alli personify the modern day Spurs, and long may this continue.

Josh is a blogger who has been writing about Spurs for over a year. He's an avid sports fan, and is devoted not just to Tottenham Hotspur but to football as a whole. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brownyyy26, and comments or questions are always welcome.

Tottenham Hotspur

Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise

The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.



Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.

After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.

It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:

“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.

“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”

It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.

In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.

The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.

The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.

He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.

But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.

His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.

The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.

It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but  Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.

Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.

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English Premier League

Heung-min Son might be the only man who doesn’t want Gareth Bale return

The Welshman has been linked with a sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur.



This week has seen Tottenham Hotspur linked with a potentially sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer. Despite interest from Manchester United, the Welshman has decided a return to Tottenham Hotspur is his wish.

Bale spent six years at White Hart Lane before becoming the world’s most expensive player in 2013. Real Madrid paid Spurs a fee reported by the Telegraph to be in the region of £86 million.

Despite some excellent memories at the Bernabeu, including two Champions League wins, Bale could be moved on in the summer. His injury troubles have frustrated Madrid and Bale turns 29 this summer, meaning this may be their last chance to cash in on the player.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – MARCH 11: Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at Vitality Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Tottenham would need to break the bank to sign the player. One Tottenham player currently hoping that Daniel Levy does not loosen his famously tightened pursestrings will be Heung-min Son.

The South Korean nearly got the boot after a mixed first season at Spurs but has now become an integral member of the Tottenham first-team.

On his day Son has proved himself to be one of the most devastating left-wingers in the Premier League. Finally he looks settled into a first-team role so the arrival of Bale as a direct rival would be devastating for the 25-year-old talent.  

Bale would be a direct rival for Son in the left-wing position. Whilst the Welshman has had his struggles this season he undoubtedly has the ability to usurp Son in the race to be a Tottenham starter.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Welsh midfielder Gareth Bale celebrates scoring the only goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland at White Hart Lane in north London on May 19, 2013. Tottenham missed out on Champions League qualification to Arsenal despite Gareth Bale’s 90th-minute winning goal. AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ?live? services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Tottenham fans of course will be excited by such a return. An attacking department containing Bale, Son, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela, all supplying the deadliest striker in world football Harry Kane? Tottenham could easily become unstoppable.

But Son is a player who thrives on confidence. His best displays come after continued runs in the first-team. If Bale arrives the struggle would be at Son’s detriment and he would soon find himself spending more and more time on the bench.

Whilst partly Son will relish the chance to play and train with a player of Bale’s calibre, a part of him will also hope the dream return stays off the table.

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Tottenham Hotspur fans react to Danny Welbeck dive

Tottenham Hotspur fans were not pleased with Danny Welbeck’s dive v AC Milan.



Arsenal successfully knocked AC Milan out of the Europa League last night with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. The hero of the night was England forward Danny Welbeck. The striker scored two goals as Arsenal completed a deserved 5-1 aggregate victory over the Rossoneri.

But Milan had taken an early lead through Hakan Calhanoglu’s bamboozling long-range strike. Arsenal, at that stage, were looking on the ropes. Welbeck though won and then dispatched a penalty to level the scoring. The word ‘won’ being the optimum word.

Welbeck dived for the penalty, there is no doubt about that. Ricardo Rodriguez barely breathed on the Arsenal man, who tumbled to the ground hopefully. When the penalty was given, he looked in disbelief.

Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli (2L) is booked for a dive during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

For Tottenham Hotspur fans it was a moment they did not appreciate.

Spurs have seen Dele Alli victimised throughout the season, and some would say rightly so, for his diving. There is no doubt that the England midfielder has dived this season and not many Tottenham fans would suggest not.

But the anger here lies with what Tottenham fans believe is hypocrisy. There is also a certain level or irony given a thinly veiled dig by Arsene Wenger against Spurs’ players this season.

After the highly controversial 2-2 draw at Anfield, where Harry Kane was accused of diving v Liverpool, Wenger had this to say, as reported by the BBC:

“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it.

“But English players have learned very quickly and might be the masters now.”


“Sometimes players play a little bit with the rules. How far can you go? That is down to the referees.”

With Arsenal their next Premier League opponents, Arsene Wenger’s barb was not hard to see.

When that statement came out Tottenham fans quickly pointed out occasions when Arsenal’s English stars had been caught diving. Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were prominent examples. Now, in Welbeck, Tottenham have seen another.

Arsenal fans will be happy that their team have booked a place in the next round of the Europa League. On balance it was more than a fair result as over two legs Arsenal outplayed the Italian giants.

But the Welbeck moment certainly put an asterix on the game for Spurs fans.

Here is some of the best reaction from Twitter…

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