Mauricio Pochettino named an extremely youthful team for the EFL Cup match against Liverpool. Featuring several players under 23, Tottenham gave their best shot and were ultimately beaten by the brilliance of Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also rotated his team, but the presence of high-profile names like Sturridge helped them get a 2-1 win. One of the talented players who was the part of the Spurs team was defender Harry Winks. The 20-year-old is seen as an excellent prospect, but he has been starved of first-team chances.
While analysing the game, former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp suggested that Harry Winks should consider leaving Spurs even if it is on a loan deal in order to become a top player. It was only the second appearance from the start for the youngster. Now that Spurs are out of the EFL Cup, it is almost certain that Winks may not be appearing the first team barring a catastrophic bad luck with regard to injuries. He has appeared in the Premier League against Liverpool and Middlesbrough, but this experience is put to shame by the fact that he has had a combined five minutes on the pitch in both these games.
Redknapp says that the situation is unlikely to change and the only way for Winks to improve as a player is by playing regularly in competitive leagues. Dropping down a few divisions has always been the preferred choice of young players, and Redknapp says that Winks could even consider a move to a Premier League team on loan. Speaking on Sky Sports 1’s live coverage of the Anfield showdown on Tuesday night, he said:
“I look at young Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and they’re good footballers, but they need to play.
“If it means going out on loan, they’ve got to go and get some game time because it’s difficult, the pathway is closed at Tottenham, as I’ve said before for midfielders.
“They did OK. They kept the ball well, there were some nice moments, but they need to play consistently – not Under 23s or 21s but go play against men in the Championship or if you can get on loan in the Premier League, that’s what they need.”
Pochettino has been a manager to promote from within, and Winks is one of the several players to have been promoted from the youth setup. Josh Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luke Amos, Anton Walkes, and Shayon Harrison are some of the names to have enjoyed a run in the first team. Since he has a relatively small squad, involvement in competitions like the Premier League, FA Cup, and the Champions League would ultimately give opportunities for these young players. However, a few minutes here and there is simply not enough for their development according to Redknapp.
In defence of the manager, Pochettino would offer these players an opportunity if they were truly exemplary like a Dele Alli. At just 20 years of age, Alli is a first-team regular at Spurs and he was playing at MK Dons not too long ago. Winks may have to just prove himself with such a loan move at a Championship club in order to be a proper contender in the first team.