Danny Rose has hailed rarely-seen Tottenham teammate Harry Winks as a standout talent with the “ability to make any team tick”.
Winks, 22, was called up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the current international break despite barely playing any matches in the calendar year.
The Spurs academy product has started only two league matches for his club this season after missing most of 2018 due to ankle problems but Rose has no doubts about what his teammate has to offer.
Rose told the Evening Standard: “[Harry] is different to all the other midfielders we’ve got for England. Once he is back to where he was last season, he has the ability to be fundamental for any team. I’m looking forward to seeing if he gets any minutes [for England] and how he does.
“He’s always going to get on the ball. Harry has the ability to make any team tick. Now, he’s slowly building back to where he was last season. He had a difficult back half of last season with his ankle and you can see now his confidence is slowly building. We’re all so happy for him.
“The gaffer [Mauricio Pochettino] has said how highly he thinks of Harry. He’s called him ‘the Little Iniesta’ — and that speaks volumes.”
It is perhaps telling that Tottenham’s players are falling over themselves to big up Winks and hail him as something special.
Certainly, he is different, not only to most Spurs men but also most England midfielders. The 22-year-old is comfortable in tight spaces in midfield, possessing the technique, touch, awareness and distribution to help his team dominate.
He is not a powerhouse in the Mousa Dembele or Victor Wanyama mould, but he has the potential to be a giant for club and country. Winks has got his chance after an injury ruled Dembele out of Tottenham’s last two matches.
This comes after what has been a hugely frustrating half-year in which the youngster struggled to deal with an ankle problem that Spurs fear is chronic.
Pochettino has urged the youngster to learn to play through the pain barrier and accept he is not always going to be 100 per cent fit when on the pitch. Once he does, Winks can be a sensation.