‘Very solid player’ – Pundit not surprised by Conte’s admission about midfielder

Antonio Conte
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Noel Whelan has revealed he is not surprised that Antonio Conte has taken a liking to Harry Winks, insisting the midfielder could prove quite useful in the Italian’s system.

Winks has got some starts under his belt over the last few weeks and the 25-year-old has grabbed them with both hands.

The England international is now seemingly pushing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp for a place in the starting eleven after proving his qualities in possession to Conte.

The Tottenham boss admitted last week that he is happy with the commitment Winks has shown since he arrived at the club.

Conte also made it clear that the Tottenham academy graduate will be staying at the club beyond the end of the January transfer window.

When asked about the 52-year-old’s comments regarding Winks, Whelan told Football Insider: “It doesn’t surprise me, because he’s a very good player and England international.

“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.”

The former Leeds United striker also praised the qualities that Winks possesses and suggested the midfielder can become an important player for Spurs under Conte.

Whelan added on Winks: “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.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Winks and Sanchez both deserve a lot of credit for the way they have come from nowhere to seemingly save their Spurs careers. Their days at the club look numbered under Nuno but both have proved to Conte that they can be counted upon.

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