Pochettino: Winks can be England’s Iniesta

Harry Winks can be England’s Andres Iniesta, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Winks endured an injury-hit season in 2017-18, but has now recovered from the ankle problems that have plagued him.

Pochettino has eased Winks back into action – he has played just six minutes of Premier League football this term – but the 22-year-old midfielder is expected to be involved against Liverpool this weekend.

And Pochettino has no doubt about how good Winks can be.

“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,” he told reporters.

“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.”

Winks has won one cap for England, playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Lithuania in World Cup qualifying.

Of course, he was injured for the Three Lions’ run to the semi-finals of the tournament in Russia.


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