In July 2012, Harry Winks joined Tottenham Hotspur’s academy. He has worked hard, making appearances for the Under-18s and then the Under-21s before progressing to the first team.
He made his Premier League debut as a late substitute against Liverpool in August. His full Premier League debut for Spurs came against London rivals West Ham on the 19th of November. Winks has made five appearances for Spurs so far this season, but this was his first start and what a performance it was from the youngster. For the first 15 minutes or so, Winks was Tottenham’s best player. He started to fade away as the game progressed but then burst back into life in the 51st minute to get Spurs back into the game. Wild celebrations ensued after his goal and there was a big hug from manager Mauricio Pochettino.
After the game, Winks said: “What a game to be involved in and what a full debut to make. To win, the main thing, but to score as well, I just can’t explain it, I really can’t. All I remember is it went completely quiet and I just thought I’ve just got to tap this in. It was a bread and butter finish but it was a difficult scenario to keep my head.” He added: “That is one moment in my life that I’ll never repeat. It’s just absolutely brilliant.”
Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for Harry Winks after the game, saying: “It was an emotional moment for him and for all of us after two and a half years working and believing in him. If they have the quality why not give them the opportunity to play? At Tottenham, it’s not only to bring players from different countries or leagues, it’s important to give the opportunity to our youngsters too.”
Pochettino always gives English players a chance. He is a man who stays true to his word, just look at Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker who have flourished under his tutelage and are now regulars in the England squad. Harry Winks could be the next one.
The central midfielder has been capped by England at Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 levels. He also made his England Under-21 debut in the 3-2 defeat against France on Monday the 14th November and provided the assist for Duncan Watmore’s sensational chip over the French goalkeeper, Thomas Didillion. As Winks has previously represented England at Under-20 level, his promotion to the Under-21s puts him in contention to feature at next summer’s European Championships which would be a great experience for the youngster.
Winks signed a new long-term contract that should keep him at Tottenham until 2021. He featured as a substitute in Tottenham’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at the start of the month. With the confidence of playing in the Champions League for Tottenham under his belt, Harry Winks is gaining experience in all competitions.
Winks could not have asked for a better introduction to the Premier League. He was involved in a pulsating game of football and he played his part in a London derby that he will never forget. There is no need to get carried away after just one game, but Harry Winks is definitely one for the future.