Friday, December 4, 2020

Winks frustrated by lack of playing time at Tottenham

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Nov 2020

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Harry Winks is growing concerned about his playing time at Tottenham as he bids to be in England’s starting XI for next year’s European Championship.

The 24-year-old midfielder made 31 appearances in the Premier League last season, the most he has managed for a single campaign in his career.

However, he has played in just half of Spurs’ eight league matches this term, with Tanguy Ndombele and new signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg playing in every single one.

Winks made his England debut in October 2017 and has been a regular pick for Gareth Southgate since, featuring in each of their first two games in the current international break.

But his goal is to be a regular starter by the time the delayed Euro 2020 kicks off next June, and he accepts to achieve such an ambition he needs to dig deep at Spurs.

When asked if he needs Spurs boss Jose Mourinho to afford him more minutes, he told reporters: “Definitely. My situation at Tottenham is difficult at the moment.

“It’s important that I keep fighting and working as hard as I can to stay in the squad and to stay in the team.

“Every time I get the opportunity for England, I love it, it’s a great place to play football here. It’s free and the lads get on really well, it’s a great place to come to.

“I want to be a part of that in the Euros and I want to be in the starting XI in the Euros as well.

“But, yes, it’s important that back at Tottenham I get the opportunities there and I stay in the team there as well.”

England’s hopes of reaching the Nations League Finals were ended by a 2-0 defeat by Belgium on Sunday, meaning there is nothing at stake for either team in Wednesday’s clash with Iceland at Wembley.

Southgate may opt to use the situation to experiment with his team, though he feels that he has had little option to do otherwise across these past three international windows due to the amount of players he has lost to injuries.

In a packed schedule made even busier by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the 2019-20 season, Southgate fears that by the time of England’s next get-together in March, their injury list could be even more alarming – though this could play into the hands of players like Winks.

“What we don’t know about March is what we will have available,” Southgate added. “It is really an unknown and I have to say a concern.

“In terms of the squad or the starting XI, we have been nowhere near in any of the three [get-togethers this season] to having a full squad to pick from. Nowhere near.

“And, as the season progresses – we will go through with no winter break – we don’t know who we will have at the end. So that would be the concern.”

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