Tottenham trophy winner claims regular is not ‘Premier League quality’

Date published: Tuesday 4th May 2021 8:09 - Robert McCarthy

Former Tottenham star Paul Stewart claims that one first-team regular is not good enough to play in the Premier League.

Stewart, who made 169 appearances for Spurs and won the FA Cup with the club in 1991, singled out Harry Winks for criticism. The England midfielder has been in and out of the team this season but is back in favour under interim boss Ryan Mason.

The 25-year-old made his debut for the club back in 2014 and has played 170 for Tottenham. Winks started the Champions League final in 2019, but was not always first-choice during Jose Mourinho’s spell in charge.

Indeed, he was linked with a move to Valencia in the January transfer window but nothing came of it.

However, Stewart believes Tottenham need to look at midfield alternatives, with Winks not up to scratch.

He former Blackpool and Liverpool man told the Transfer Tavern: “I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been a bit of a critic of Harry. I think he’s neat and tidy and retains the ball but there are better players out there.

“I hope he proves me wrong, but I don’t think he’s Premier League quality. He doesn’t offer enough in the modern-day game. I’ve seen other players like that in the past who flatter to deceive.”

Winks’ future in north London now depends on who comes in as the club’s new manager.

He has been the fourth choice central midfielder for much of the season, although he has leapfrogged Tanguy Ndombele since Mason took charge.

Capped 10 times by England, it would appear that Winks will miss out on a place in the Euro 2020 squad due to his lack of game time.

While that would come as a huge blow, it would also give him a full pre-season to impress whoever the new manager is.

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Shock name tipped for Tottenham job

Meanwhile, Tottenham technical performance director Steve Hitchen has reportedly suggested Brighton boss Graham Potter as a potential candidate to fill the vacant managerial post at the club.

Jose Mourinho was sacked last month, with former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason taking the reins until the end of the season. However, it seems highly unlikely that he will be given the job permanently, with a number of names still linked to the position.

Spurs have already been rebuffed by Julian Nagelsmann, Erik Ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers. However, names like Ralf Rangnick, Rafa Benitez and Roberto Martinez remain in the frame.

Graham Potter; Sam Allardyce TEAMtalk

But according to Daily Mail journalist Ian Ladyman, Hitchen has suggested to chairman Daniel Levy that Potter should be considered as a viable option.

On the face of it, Potter appears to be a maverick selection, given Brighton’s struggles this season. However, his playing style certainly fits the profile of the type of manager Tottenham want.

Potter has also earned plaudits from the likes of Pep Guardiola for the way the Seagulls go about their business.

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Brighton in false position

An impressive stat from WhoScored has also revealed that only six top-flight teams have had more shots on target per match than Brighton. The south coast side have also averaged over 50% possession.

Potter also has experience of playing in Europe, having guided Ostersunds to the Europa League last 32 three years ago.

Brighton’s issues are mainly down to not taking their chances when they are well on top in games. That would not be the same at Tottenham, with the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min in attack.

The biggest problem facing Levy would be that Potter is unlikely to be a name that will appease Spurs fans.

The Tottenham chairman needs a ‘big win’ after Mourinho’s sorry spell in north London. There is also the small matter of the failed European Super League attempt.

Appointing Potter will almost certainly not give him that but could, surprisingly, work out to be a savvy choice.

READ MORE: Tottenham ‘don’t care’ about cost as Euro giant ramps up pursuit of star


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