Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

Harry Winks would be well-advised to leave Tottenham as soon as an opportunity presents itself – for the good of his career.

So says former 79-time Spurs striker Darren Bent, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams as Everton keep tabs on the midfielder.

Winks – who started back-to-back matches for the first time this season against Wolves and Leeds – has come in for some criticism in recent months.

Jose Mourinho handed him just 55 minutes of Premier League football between 27 September and 27 December.

Bent says he admires Winks’ undeniable ability but that Tottenham under Jose Mourinho is not the right place for him to grow as a footballer.

He told Football Insider: “At the end of the day, Mourinho has got several options in the middle of the park.

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“I like Harry. I think technically he’s a very, very good player and he’s got a lot to offer. But at the same time, we know how Mourinho likes to play. If you look at his older teams, for instance, they’re all big powerful guys and this team is being built using the same kind of DNA.

“At some stage, he will for his own benefit have to go and play football somewhere else. Just because I think he’s too good of a player to just sit there, collect his money and not play. I don’t think he’ll want that either.

“I expect him to move on, go somewhere and play some games, wherever that may be. I’ve heard he could join Everton, but I think it comes down to wherever he feels more comfortable.

“First and foremost, he’s got to be playing games.”

Winks has been on the books at Tottenham since he was six years old, graduating from the academy to the first-team in 2014.

If he is to complete a Goodison Park switch, the Toffees will need to fend off competition for his signature from Valencia who today emerged as a surprise suitor, according to the Express.

In other news, a former Premier League winger says a Tottenham player needs to pull his socks up in order to justify his astronomical wages.