Alex McLeish has tipped Jose Mourinho to hold one-to-one talks with Harry Winks to reassure him of his future at Tottenham.
The former Premier League and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has admitted he understands why the midfielder is getting “itchy feet” in north London this season.
Winks has played just once in Spurs’ last five Premier League games and has publicly admitted he is in a “difficult” situation which is threatening his chances of making England’s Euro 2020 squad next summer.
McLeish has lauded the Tottenham youth product for his ability to keep possession in the middle of the park and suggested Mourinho may have to put an arm around his shoulder to keep him motivated.
Asked if Winks was being wasted at Spurs, McLeish told Football Insider: “I don’t know if he’s wasted, Harry catches the eye as a busy player, he’s played for England, he’s very, very busy.
“He keeps the ball – he’s got a bad habit of keeping the ball, that’s an extremely bad habit to have, a guy who keeps possession! He’s also against some really tough opposition in terms of his position.
“He’s young, he’ll be of the mind that: ‘I need to play every week at my age, these are the most important years of my life and career,’ and maybe that’s why he’s getting itchy feet and why there are murmurs coming out that perhaps a move is on the cards.
“I like Harry Winks, I don’t think he’ll stick getting a club and he could fit into somebody else’s system but at the moment he’s surplus to Jose’s first-choice, I’m not saying he’s surplus to Jose altogether.
“Maybe Jose will have a pep talk with him and keep his spirits up and say: ‘Don’t play the short ball son, play the long ball,’ because he’s been a really good player for Spurs in their success over the last few years – relative success, getting to the Champions League finals and stuff.”