Paul Merson explains why Spurs academy graduate is a must for England

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has claimed that Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has to start for England ahead of next summer’s European Championships irrespective of his form for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old has been impressive in his recent displays for the Three Lions during the Euro qualifiers and earned the praise of Gareth Southgate (Daily Mail).

However, competition for places have heated up at Tottenham since the arrival of Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese manager has also started with the likes of Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko in the midfield pivot positions since his arrival.

While Winks has started three of the four games Tottenham have had under Mourinho, he found himself on the bench for the 3-2 win over Bournemouth last weekend and was not at his best during the 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Merson has insisted that Winks should keep his place in England’s midfield even if he loses his starting birth at Tottenham before the end of the season.

Speaking to Sky Sports’, the Debate (10:55pm, 2 December), the former Arsenal man said, “Someone like Winks, who I think is a very good player, I think is a must [for England].

“He might not be playing for Tottenham and then all of a sudden you’re not in [the England squad]. But for me I think Winks has to play because he keeps the ball.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Winks’ skills set is quite unique compared to the other midfielders in the England squad as not only can he screen the back four but he is also the only deep plying playmaker in the England set up. He can thus be crucial in helping England transition the ball from defence to the attacking midfielders.

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