Harry Winks faces defining moment under Antonio Conte as Tottenham boss makes key decision


Harry Winks may get his second Premier League start of the season when Tottenham play Leeds, in their first game after the international break, on Sunday.

Winks has struggled to get into the side this campaign, not just in the starting line-up but also the matchday squad, missing out on the side in three Premier League games so far.

Antonio Conte has come in, changed the formation and already began implementing his rigid structure into his new side.

The 25-year-old has played 17 minutes under his new boss, after coming on as a substitute in their 3-2 victory against Vitesse, in the Europa Conference League.

The midfielder started in the game against Crystal Palace and much like his teammates, it was a poor performance which lacked quality and energy.

Winks has received criticism from a number of fans in recent times for his sideways and backwards passing, as well as losing the ball in dangerous areas.

However, when he came on against the Arnhem-based side, he had some good spells of play, including a good ball over the top in the build up to one of their opponents’ sending off.

Perhaps a clean slate under a top manager has given him motivation to work hard to impress, if he was missing it before and his big opportunity could come in their next fixture, on Sunday.



Antonio Conte has some starting XI decisions to make when his Tottenham side face Leeds on Sunday.
Antonio Conte has some starting XI decisions to make when his Tottenham side face Leeds on Sunday.

Oliver Skipp will miss Spurs’ next game against Leeds due to a suspension, after picking up five yellow cards already this season.

Skipp has played alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg for much of the season but with the Dane missing his partner against Marcelo Bielsa’s side, there is a spot up for grabs in Conte’s starting XI.

Some fans have begun to criticise the midfield duo, due to their lack of creativity, with them both being defensively minded.

A key area that needs work for Spurs is their creativity and attacking force, which Hojbjerg and Skipp don’t offer enough of.

However, if you swap one of them out for the likes of Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso, you may improve in attacking areas but you also create more danger for defence, so it depends which the Italian wants to prioritise.

With that being said, if Conte decides to stick with more defensive midfielders, it could be the perfect opportunity for Winks to get more match minutes, to try and show why he deserves a regular XI spot.

All of the players would’ve started on a clean slate with a new manager and it is starting to look like now or never for the English midfielder.

The 25-year-old has been at the club since he was just a boy but if he can’t get consistent game time and more importantly, provide the quality needed, he could find himself moving away from the north London club.

After the 1-0 defeat against Vitesse under Nuno Espirito Santo, Winks gave a very honest interview about his time at Spurs.

“Listen, I love Tottenham, I’ve always made that clear, but I want to play football. And I want to play regular football,” he said.

The midfielder still has a number of years in his career remaining but if he can’t get into the starting XI for consecutive matches, it would seem like the best choice for the club and his own career, for him to move on.

A big weekend for Conte, who faces his first Premier League match in charge of the Lilywhites at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, for the Spurs team who will want to get a first league win under their new boss and now a potential big week for Winks, who could have a big chance to get some game time under his belt.

The Italian has some choices to make ahead of the weekend, which could also depend on the fitness of his 14 players who will return from international duty.





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