Winks is perfect for Conte's system at Tottenham after major development - pundit
Noel Whelan has insisted it is “no surprise” Antonio Conte wants to keep Harry Winks at Tottenham.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 25-year-old is a “very good player” who the Italian boss “can’t afford” to lose this month.
As quoted by Sky Sports (31 December), Conte confirmed Winks “will stay” at Tottenham after this month’s transfer window, adding that the England international is a “reliable” option.
The midfielder has made five appearances since the former Chelsea boss took charge, after playing just 61 minutes prior to his arrival.
Whelan suggested Winks could become “vitally important” to Conte’s plans.
“It doesn’t surprise me, because he’s a very good player and England international,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.
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“I think managers have come and gone at Tottenham and that’s messed with the consistency of the whole squad.
“Also, there was the speculation about Harry Kane in the summer, and that just took over everything and was the main priority at Spurs.
“But when a new manager comes in as Conte has, everyone is playing off a clean slate.
“He’s a very solid player. Keeps the ball, possession-based, good reading of the game, starts moves off. You can’t really afford to let too many players go when you’ve only just come through the door.
“When you’re looking at how Conte plays, with the wing-back system – players like Winks and Oliver Skipp become vitally important to their side.”
Winks made a 20-minute cameo from the bench as Tottenham recorded a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday.
Spurs sit sixth in the top flight after 18 games.