Tottenham have just announced two more contract extensions, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters, to continue the theme of tying down their own players to long-term deals.
Harry Winks’ latest deal (his third with Tottenham in under 12 months) sees the 21-year-old midfielder remain with the club until 2022. Just a year longer than his previous extension that he signed back in September which was up til 2021.
Both deals for Winks and Walker-Peters may seem short because it’s just a year longer but there’s nothing to be worried about.
Harry Winks will be with the club for five more years while Kyle Walker-Peters is still developing and will likely sign a new deal at a later date to be determined.
Speaking to Tottenham’s official website after putting pen to paper once again, Winks who spent the bulk of last season training with Spurs’ first team talked about how signing a new deal won’t change his mindset.
That he will continue to work hard and improve his game even after making 25 total appearances in all competitions this season. Seventeen of them coming in the Premier League with two starts — West Ham and Burnley.
“I’m delighted, over the moon to sign another contract with the club, commit my future even more and I’m looking forward to the years ahead,” Harry Winks said.
“I’ve had a lot of game time this year and it’s been everything I’ve wished for since the beginning of the season, but ultimately football can change and I need to keep that level of work rate, keep that work ethic up and keep myself going in the future.”
“Obviously I’m doing well on the pitch to be rewarded with this contract but ultimately it doesn’t stop there. As soon as you’re awarded a new contract you’ve got to keep working hard to justify the reason why you got that, so that’s my intention now.”
With Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembélé holding down the fort at central midfield, Winks has been tasked with coming into the game as a sub and providing the team with renewed energy to help Spurs hold onto a lead or get a goal back.
As one of Mauricio Pochettino’s best bench options, Harry Winks leads all Spurs players with 15 appearances off the bench. But it’s a role that he’s comfortable with, one where he feels he can play anywhere in midfield where needed.
“Where I’ve come through the academy, I’ve had to adapt to different roles,” Winks explained.
“The academy managers throughout the years have always told me to be able to be versatile in midfield as opposed to just playing one role so, for me, if I’m on the pitch then I can adapt to what I need to do.”
“If the manager says to sit then I’ll sit, if I need to have a bit more of a free role and be a bit more fluid then I’ll do that but for me, just being on the pitch is a bonus itself and when I’m on there it’s obviously important to show quality, confidence and to stay solid within the team.”
If Winks’ play this season has looked phenomenal even though he has only made minimal appearances in the Europa League the past two years, the 21-year-old said it had everything to do with last season’s training sessions with the first team.
That whole year has paid off big time and Pochettino’s decision to keep Winks with Spurs instead of loaning him out has worked magnificently.
“It helped massively. It was tough, playing here and there with the Under-21s and getting game time here and there with the first team but the intensity of training here and the level of quality with all the players and the coaching – it’s second to none, it really is.”
“It improves you on the pitch, off the pitch and I’m grateful for that season because it toughens you up mentally as well as physically and technically.”
Kyle Walker-Peters, a versatile full-back who has primarily played at right-back in Spurs’ Academy and is also comfortable on the left, spoke of how happy he was to sign another contract extension.
It shows that the 19-year-old’s hard work has paid off with Pochettino believing that Walker-Peters can become a future starter with Tottenham.
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“I was buzzing, over the moon!” Walker-Peters said. “I believe it shows that the club has faith in me and it’s perfect timing because it’s given me a lot more confidence when I’m going out there to train every day, believing that I’m going in the right direction.”
“Training is tough, there’s no doubt about that and you have to adapt because the intensity is a lot higher but it can only make you better and it’s imperative that I keep working hard.”
“I’m learning from Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Trips [Kieran Trippier] and Ben Davies all the time and that helps a lot.”
“We have probably the two best starting full-backs in the country in Walker and Rose, and Trips and Ben are top, top players like them so I just need to be patient and try my utmost to get to their level one day.”
Harry Winks’ progression from Academy player to Academy graduate and now a first team player for Tottenham is the kind of trajectory that Kyle Walker-Peters hopes to emulate very soon.
“I think every young player at the club should look at Harry Winks and think if he’s done it, I can do it too. That’s my motivation.” Walker-Peters added.
“I can’t sit around, I have to focus on each week as it comes, then focus on pushing and pushing again. I saw Harry go through it, he kept working hard for months and years and he got his reward in the end so I just need to keep pushing to try to earn it too.”
Kyle Walker-Peters has already gotten the chance to follow in Harry Winks’ footsteps after twice being named on the bench this season for both of Spurs’ FA Cup ties against Aston Villa and Wycombe Wanderers.
While the 19-year-old didn’t play in either of those cup matches, it was still a good learning experience for him. To take part in pre-match warm-ups and mentally learn from the substitutes’ bench by taking mental notes from simply watching.
“The chance to be in the squad was incredible, especially the Wycombe game which was crazy!” Walker-Peters continued. “I’ve never seen a game like that, it was entertaining, incredible and I was even up celebrating when we were scoring, going crazy like everyone else!”
“I’ve travelled a few times with the team now and sometimes you’re on the bench, sometimes you’re not, but being around the squad is always a big positive and seeing how the players are before games, I think you can learn from it.”