“I compare myself to Modric and De Jong” – Spurs midfielder wants to become an important player for club and country

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has been recalled to the England squad after missing out on the European Nations League finals due to injury.

Winks, who specializes in picking the ball up from defence and kick-starting attacks, has been described by England’s assistant coach Steve Holland as “a player the coaching staff have been waiting for”, and the 23-year-old is certainly proud to hear that.

Speaking to The Evening Standard, Winks said, “The whole game is about dealing with pressure and I like to think I can deal with it well.

“Pressure helps you improve and makes you strive for more. To hear that from Steve was nice. It’s definitely a positive.”

The Spurs academy graduate revealed that he compares himself to the likes of Frenkie De Jong and Luka Modric and prides himself on his all-round ability.

He said, “Those qualities are part and parcel of my game. I compare myself to De Jong and Modric and I take it as a massive compliment [to hear the same from others]. But I’ve got a long way to go until I reach that level.”

“That’s how the Tottenham academy structures us as midfielders — to play in various roles.

“I like to build attacks, to be that link between defence and attack, and I feel like that’s where I’m strongest. I like facing the goal rather than having my back to it.”

The youngster also opened up on the difficult times he has experiences owing to his injury troubles and hoped to get through the rest of the season without any setbacks

He added, “It’s been tough. There have been numerous times I’ve been in the squad and I’ve had to come out with injuries or haven’t had a regular run in the [Spurs] side to be called up.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last few years which haven’t been at the best of times.

“But when I was younger, to see at 23 I would be in the situation I am now, I would absolutely snap my arm off.”

Winks also talked about the competition for places both at Spurs and England and insisted that it will help push him on to the next level.

“I have to do everything I can to prove to the coaches I’m good enough to start and play/ There’s so much competition for places now, you have to keep working to improve.

“Everyone is playing well for their clubs. That’s why they’re here. It’s a nice dilemma to have and something I’m enjoying.

“If you’re not playing (for your club), you won’t get selected for the national team. We have two players (Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso) who have come in who want to play.”

Spurs Web Opinion

A lot of the criticism that Winks receives from Spurs fans is because of the fact that some fans don’t understand his role in the side. Winks’ main role is to recycle possession and kick start attacks from deep positions, which explains why he is usually conservative with his passing. He rarely gives the ball away and displays fantastic energy levels.

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