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TT Battle: Harry Winks vs Declan Rice

While it is quite easy to compare different transfers to clubs, it is sometimes harder to compare academy products.

Price no longer becomes a factor, neither does age because they have both grown up at the club. The real factor in this kind of battle is the impact that the players will have at the club over the years.

So when comparing Tottenham’s Harry Winks to West Ham’s Declan, these criteria come into play.

Both men play in the midfield and have big futures, so let’s comparing these two…

Harry Winks

Winks made his Tottenham debut in August 2016 as a 20-year-old, in what was the first of a fair number of appearances that season for The Lilywhites. This was a player that manager Mauricio Pochettino had admired for a long time, but was still relatively unknown to fans.

Although he did get a lot of exposure to first team football during the 2016/17 campaign, it was only last season that Winks started to become recognised at a national level. A brilliant start to last season saw him earn his first England cap, as well as a hugely impressive performance against Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Injury curtailed the 22-year-old’s progress last season, as well as his hopes of making the 2018 World Cup, but that has not stopped many people tipping Winks to have a very bright future. Very comfortable on the ball, with a great passing range and dribbling skills, this is the man that could feature in England and Tottenham’s midfield for many years to come.

TT Grade A

Declan Rice

At 19 years old, Rice is West Ham’s biggest prospect at the moment, and may well be over the past decade. Capable of playing in defence and midfield, The Hammers know that they have a real talent on their hands.

He really broke onto the scene last season for The Irons, but it looks like he will have a hugely impressive campaign at the London Stadium this year. He is very defensively sound, as well as being very comfortable on the ball, which makes him a very distinctive player.

The two time West Ham Young Player of the Year has still not committed to his international future yet, with the Republic of Ireland and England both possible destinations, but wherever he goes he will be a huge character.

The only downside of this academy product is that West Ham will struggle to keep hold of him. He will not exactly be a player for the future at the London Stadium as it seems unlikely that he will be there in five years time. Nonetheless, he is still a hugely promising player.

TT Grade B+

TT Verdict:

This is a close call, as both players have very bright futures. While both players may well feature heavily in the Premier League- and perhaps for England- for years to come, there is one factor that makes Winks a better academy product here.

Winks is more likely to stay at Tottenham, whereas many people can see Rice at another club in the future. While The Hammers can make a decent payday out of this, there is no guarantee that they will be able to replace his quality.

Therefore, the fact that Winks is a better long term asset to Spurs means he wins this battle.

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