Mauricio Pochettino has backed Harry Winks to be one of the most influential midfielders of the modern era.
Winks has been the blue eyed boy of Pochettino whom he handed a debut back in 2015. The English midfielder is regarded as one of the most talented midfielders among the current breed but a string of injuries seemed to have halted his development.
The youngster who has an England cap under his tally has been on the sidelines due to an ankle injury but is expected to get some game time against Liverpool. Gareth Southgate recently pointed out the lack of creativity in the middle of the pitch as Three Lions’ struggle was quite visible in the World Cup.
But Pochettino feels they already have a readymade replacement in Winks as the player has the potential to emulate the feat of Xavi and Andres Iniesta. “Harry has the profile of the perfect midfield player.
“His characteristics are perfect. When we talk about midfielders like [Spain greats] Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player. He has this capacity but he needs to take my words in a very positive way — he needs a lot of work.
“I don’t want to praise him too much because if so his head [grows big]! His perception will be ‘wow!’ And the reality is he still needs to prove [himself].
“He has the possibility and the potential, of course, but now it is up to him and we go again: mentality. In his mind he is capable to learn about suffering: there never is enough training, always try to be better.
“Football must be his focus, not the business around football.
“Maybe [if he learns this] he will play at a very good level and be one of the best midfielders in England.
“If he wants to take my advice, take it. If people don’t want to take it, we cannot help. But of course his potential is to be a very, very good player for England and Tottenham. First for Tottenham and then, if England believe that he can help them, for England, too.”