Sampdoria have signed English midfielder Harry Winks on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and his transfer arguably one of the more obscure signings that has occurred in the Serie A summer transfer window.
The 26-year-old has struggled for regular playing time at Spurs in the last couple of seasons, and Tottenham coach Antonio Conte prefers to start Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as his preferred central midfielders.
Sampdoria had dropped hints of his signing on Monday with a video on social media that also paid homage to the English footballers that had played for the Blucerchiati previously, and his transfer was made official on Tuesday, confirming that his loan deal would last until the end of June 2023 and there is an option to buy him outright.
Winks is expected to wear the no.20 jersey with Samp.
The England international is taking quite a risk in joining a club like Sampdoria. He played for Tottenham when they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League Final and he has earned 10 caps for the Three Lions so far.
Leaving a club like Spurs, who are playing in the Champions League, for a struggling Serie A team like Sampdoria is a risky move to say the least. If you compare his loan deal to that of Tanguy Ndombele, at least the Frenchman has left the North London club for another Champions League participant in Napoli.
Winks joins a Sampdoria in crisis
Switching to a club like Sampdoria surely comes at a risk for Winks and could possibly hinder his career if he cannot turn things around in the port city of Genoa.
The Blucerchiati were 18th in the Serie A table after Matchday 3 with just one point and no goals scored. With forwards Fabio Quagliarella, Manolo Gabbiadini, and Francesco Caputo on the wrong side of 30, it is evident that Samp need a forward that is younger and can provide a potent scoring threat.
If leaving Tottenham for Sampdoria seems like a bizarre move for Winks, then one must also wonder if the 26-year-old can provide greater quality in midfield. Il Doria have already lost central midfielders Albin Ekdal and Morten Thorsby to Spezia and Union Berlin respectively while Gonzalo Villar has joined on loan from Roma.
There is a dearth of quality in the Sampdoria squad and there are problems off the field too. Marco Lanna remains the interim president after Massimo Ferrero was sent to jail in December 2021 for fraudulent bankruptcy and it is unclear if there are new buyers prepared to buy the Ligurian club.
If Winks can emerge as an unlikely hero, it might persuade Spurs to take him back or other English Premier League clubs could be interested in him, but if he struggles in Italy, he might find it hard to join another club in his homeland in the future.