Why Harry Winks doesn't make sense for Manchester United
Background Image Via: Flickr/Daniel. CC BY 2.0.
Manchester United's start to 2020 certainly could have gone better. Three games played, two poor losses and one lethargic draw. The pressure begins to build on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. With the transfer market now open, does the Baby Faced Assassin stick with what he has? Or roll the dice and complete some mid-season business? It's a tricky one.
Midfield remains the problem position. Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are long-term casualties, leaving just three fit central players; all of which are hardly inspiring options. This week, the 20-time Premier League champions were linked with a move to sign out-of-favour Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks. If I'm being honest, my initial thought was one of underwhelm. My view hasn't changed.
Winks, aged 23, is a solid player. Nothing more, nothing less. United have solid already, they need world-class. Winks' metronomic style isn't really what the Old Trafford club desires at this stage, either. Sure, the young man from Hemel Hempstead is a master at keeping it simple and finding his teammates, but he's hardly going to split open opposing defences with a killer pass or fire one in from 25-yards out.
McTominay is already a better version of what Winks can offer. Plus, he's homegrown, slightly younger and much more physical. He'll also chip in with a few goals, too. It feels a no-brainer to persist with the Scotland international rather than spending big bucks to bring in a slightly above-average player. Alright, so football is a squad game, I hear you retort. Well, United could already have the answer right under their nose...
The Red Devils need both quantity and quality, though they already have the perfect rotational option on the books at Old Trafford. Enter Dylan Levitt. Having already earned call-ups to the senior Wales squad, this is a young man whose only played once for United; a Europa League outing against FC Astana.
Levitt impressed with his slick, quick passing. His ability to keep it simple and lay the ball off to the more creative players in the team is an underrated commodity. Levitt knows what he is and he does it exceptionally. Remind you of anyone...? The teenager is also four-years Winks' junior. Surely anyone with a brain can see that the better option would be to give Levitt his chance? Yes, he will make mistakes, yes, he's less experienced, but save the money and invest it in a player who could actually change United's long-term fortunes.
Speaking of, I'd understand it if United were going to break the bank to bring in an elite level player. With respect, that's just not the case here. I know they're different players but Winks is hardly a James Maddison or a Donny van de Beek. He's steady, solid and dare I say, uninspiring. Perhaps if the Reds were in a position of power where the squad just needed a minor tinkering it'd make more sense. As we all know, that's just simply not the case and it feels like a signing United would make just for the sake of it. That's not how a club of their stature should operate.
Sure, Harry Winks is a more than capable young man. Right now, he's just not what Manchester United Football Club needs to succeed.