Gabby Agbonlahor has admitted he was left baffled by Ryan Mason’s decision to select Harry Winks over Tanguy Ndobmbele for Tottenham in their Carabao Cup final.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England striker insisted Winks is a “great player” but was not ready for a game against Manchester City after being sparingly used by Jose Mourinho.
The 25-year-old had started just four games since January, including three Europa League games, before the Wembley fixture.
Meanwhile, Ndombele has featured in 43 games across all competitions this season but was left on the bench for their 1-0 loss to Man City.
Football.London‘s Tottenham correspondent Alasdair Gold reports Ndombele was fully fit and did not start because of his recent form.
“Winks hasn’t played much over the last few months, I don’t know how you can start him in the cup final,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“I understand he might really like Winks, they might be friends but it was just the sort of game where you needed Ndombele to get on the ball and make things happen. He could have been the difference.
“Even playing [Giovani] Lo Celso in front of him. Very strange. I didn’t understand that.
“Winks is a great player but to come in against that Manchester City team when you’ve not played for so long I don’t think he would have enjoyed being thrown in like that.”
Winks ended the game with a pass accuracy of 84 per cent but tellingly only attempted six forward passes, according to Wyscout.
Ndombele’s has a pass accuracy average of 86 per cent and attempted 12 forward passes in his last game.