Sunday, June 26, 2022

McLeish Backs This English Midfielder To Thrive At Aston Villa: Should Smith Snap Him Up?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Scotland manager Alex McLeish backed Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks to thrive at Aston Villa. When asked about whether the Spurs midfield ace will be a good signing for either the Villans or Everton, McLeish said,

“I definitely feel that it can enhance the squads of either club.

“I don’t say that because I’m saying they’re lower than Tottenham or anything. Sometimes there’s too much pressure at a certain club you’re at.

“When you go away, you can get your wings free and then do your stuff. Not be under the same intense pressure.

“That sounds as if I’m giving these guys a cop-out. They can still enhance their and improve their careers by moving.

“Even if it’s to a so-called lesser club, they can come back strong.”

Winks’ Lack Of Game Time At The Totttenham Hotspur Stadium

Winks has played a sporadic role in Nuno Espirito Santo’s match-day squad so far in this campaign, so he could be tempted with a chance to seal a move to Aston Villa in January. The ten-time England international has only featured in five matches for Spurs this season, picking up one assist in the process across all fronts.

The 25-year-old registered two goals and two assists in 30 matches for the North London outfit in the previous campaign. Winks struggled to find consistentcy with his midfield contributions as he averaged 1.1 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 0.7 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He has even distributed possession with conviction after making 84.9% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (Harry Winks)
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur applauds as he warms up prior to the UEFA Conference League Play-Offs Leg Two match between Tottenham Hotspur and Pacos de Ferreira at on August 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (
Imago Images (

Should The Villans Snap Winks Up ?

Winks has got a good work rate and can make life difficult for the opposition at the centre of the park. He can get stuck in with some solid tackles to hamper the opponent’s rhythm in the game. The English midfield ace also doesn’t take too many risks when clearing the danger at the back. However, he needs to influence the game a bit more in the final third if he intends to earn regular game time in the Premier League over the next few years.

Winks would be a clever addition for the Villans as he will inject some bite and steel to Dean Smith’s match-day squad. Furthermore, he will provide some serious competition for John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba, Morgan Sanson and Jacob Ramsey at Villa Park in the coming seasons.

Therefore, Smith would be wise to listen to McLeish’s words by orchestrating a move to bring Winks to the West Midlands club either on loan or permamently when the transfer window reopens at the start of next year.

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