Winks in dreamland

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Harry Winks was literally “called up” to the England senior squad following the withdrawal of Manchester City’s Fabian Delph.

Our young midfielder was drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad on Monday, having originally been part of the U21s set up.

Winks’s was promoted in terms of squad but also in terms of bedroom at St George’s Park, vacating the room he was sharing with Leicester City fullback Ben Chilwell and going up stairs onto the floor occupied by the senior squad.

The two squads operate in close proximity at the national team base in Staffordshire , meaning the 21-year-old’s promotion was as smooth as possible.

However his promotion to the senior team did catch Winks by surprise, he told the FA.com website. Harry is only just back from an injury that ruled him out of this summer’s European Under-21 Championships, so getting anywhere near the full squad was far from the young man’s mind.

“I’m still trying to get my head around it, to be honest,” said Winks.
“It’s still a little bit surreal to have come here as an U21 and then get the call into the manager’s room to say I’ve been promoted into the senior squad.

“I’m guessing it all happened really quickly with the two boys that pulled out through injury [Fabian Delph and Phil Jones], so the fact that all of the boys are here – the U21s and the seniors – makes it so easy to dip in and out if you’re needed.

“[A call-up] didn’t cross my mind at all. I’ve only recently come back from injury and got into the team, so it’s all happened very quickly but it’s the stuff of dreams, really.
“It’s an absolute dream come true to even be here, at any level. To represent your country is massive, and to even be a part of the group at senior level – whether it’s just for this trip or for however long.

“Hopefully there’ll be many more, but this is a great achievement and I’m really proud.”

Winks of course is helped by some very familiar faces already in the squad.Five of them are club-mates, past and present, while he’s shared dressing rooms with others – the likes of Everton’s Jordan Pickford – while playing at junior level.

Winks will also be on familiar territory when the squad travel down from Burton-on-Trent to London. Gareth Southgate and co will spend Wednesday(today) training at Hotspur Way in Enfield ahead Thursday’s World Cup qualifier at Wembley Stadium – our home of course for this season.

“That makes the whole transition even easier,” enthuses Winks.
“Having people like Dele, H, Eric, Tripps and Kyle Walker who I’ve known for a while makes it easier stepping in, but all of the boys have been great – they’re all very welcoming and down-to-earth.

“Going back to Tottenham and seeing some familiar faces is going to be nice, too. It’s an amazing place to train, and going there in an England shirt is going to be even better.
“I’m just here to enjoy every bit of the experience and soak it up as much as I can. If I get to play it’d obviously be a dream come true, but just being here is fantastic.”

So a rapid rise for our other Harry. The kid is one of the nicest lads in football, he had a decent season last year cut short by a freak injury. He has the potential to be a main stay in midfield for Spurs and for England for many years to come.

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