Darren Bent explains why Spurs star is better than West Ham counterpart


The England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo was announced on Thursday (BBC) and apart from a few changes, Gareth Southgate chose to stick with the same players that featured against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Danny Rose all made the squad while Dele Alli and Eric Dier found themselves missing out once again.

Former Spurs striker Darren Bent has now given his take on who he thinks should start in midfield and believes that Winks will battle it out with West Ham’s Declan Rice for the holding midfield role.

The ex-England forward backed the Spurs midfielder to start as he insisted that the 23-year-old was better than anybody at connecting the defence and midfield with his passing.

Speaking to Drive on talkSPORT, Bent said, “You have to say Declan Rice and Harry Winks are fighting it out for the midfield role. For me, it would be, Winks, Ox and Henderson [in a midfield three].

“But it’s tough because that area of the pitch is loaded, at this moment and we haven’t had that for a long, long time – I like Winks. I like my holding midfield players to pass the ball forward. I don’t like sideways and backwards and holding up the play.

“I like my midfield players to get it off my centre-backs, turn, punch the ball through the lines or hit the wide men. I think Harry Winks does that better than anyone. I think he does it better than Declan Rice.”

Winks was overlooked by Pochettino for Spurs’ last two games against Everton and Red Star Belgrade as the Argentine chose to go with a pairing of Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele.

However, the Tottenham academy graduate did feature in England’s last outing against Bulgaria which the Three Lions won 6-0.

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I share Bent’s view that Winks is better than Rice at helping the team play out from the back and so he will be a valuable asset to have in the side in the games where England dominate possession. The 23-year-old perhaps isn’t as good defensively as Rice, who is a massive presence in front of the back four. However, there is no doubt that the Spurs man has a higher ceiling than his West Ham counterpart.

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