Harry Winks is set to face Spain tonight in the centre of England’s midfield in a fixture which will provide another huge test for the aspiring 22-year-old.
Forming accurate conclusions based on impartial thinking represents something of an impossibility when a young English talent begins to rise through the ranks and impress supporters.
Winks is no exception to the rule: he looks technically astute and a huge talent to watch for the future but there is a suggestion that he has been hugely over-hyped by an audience who are too emotionally invested in his future success.
Indeed, Winks’ determined style of play and English nationality have made him a popular figure amongst supporters of both Tottenham and the England national side, but he still has so much to prove at this level before he can justify his place in Gareth Southgate’s set-up.
Since breaking into the senior squad Winks (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) has made 70 appearances for Tottenham, scoring 1 and assisting 2 in the process.
Although it must be considered that plenty of his appearances have arrived from the substitutes bench, his meagre return is acutely uninspiring for a player who isn’t restricted to a midfield anchor role.
Speaking ahead of England’s clash with Spain on Monday evening, Ray Parlour delivered his verdict on Winks and he urged Tottenham’s academy product to adopt a braver approach in possession, and his opinion was reiterated by the Spurs faithful on Twitter.
And it’s fair to say that the Tottenham fans are absolutely spot on in their assessment, as Winks will never reach the next level and blossom into the calibre of player he wants to be unless he is willing to take risks in possession.
The reason the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are widely regarded as three of the most effective midfielders in Europe is due to their ability to consistently push the ball forward into dangerous positions in the final-third, and that is something which Winks needs to implement if he wants to cement a place at club level, never mind intentional level.
Winks will undoubtedly be in for a tough evening against Spain and there will be plenty of occasions when he will need to play it safe to ensure England gain a foothold in the game, but when the opportunity presents itself he should be attempting to slice Spain apart with incisive forward passes.
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