Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks is the right man to slot into England’s midfield and offer the creative spark they are missing, according to Jamie Redknapp.
The ex-Spurs, Liverpool and Bournemouth man believes – along with plenty of others – that the national side need to improve in the middle of the park if they are to build on their World Cup run to the semi-finals.
The 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Spain highlighted deficiencies in Gareth Southgate’s squad and Redknapp wants to see England give more technically gifted players a chance.
Winks, who has one England cap to his name, missed the end of last season with injury; he would otherwise have been in contention for the World Cup.
“Winks is someone who excels at keeping the ball,” Redknapp wrote in his column for The Daily Mail in which he also identified Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Leicester City’s James Maddison, Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey as potential options.
“England could not handle the way Spain moved the ball so quickly and that is exactly what Harry loves to do,” he added.
“He gets it, gives it, and keeps things simple.”
Redknapp feels that Winks has already proved that he is ready to perform on the highest level and his experience with Spurs has put him in good stead.
“He has already proved he can cut it at the highest level, starring home and away against Real Madrid in the Champions League and in Tottenham’s 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool last season.”
However, he must first make a successful return from injury and Redknapp feels that staying fit and healthy could determine whether he does indeed make it into Southgate’s future plans.
“His biggest issue is injuries. With Spurs fighting on four fronts this season, Mauricio Pochettino will need to rotate his squad.
“That should give Winks plenty of opportunities to break back into Southgate’s squad.
“He just needs to prove his fitness.”
Should Winks make a successful recovery and produce the form he was showing for Spurs that earned him a call-up in the first place, there is every reason to suggest Southgate will once again give him a chance to impress.
Whether he can then go on and truly dominate at international level as Redknapp suggests he might be capable of remains to be seen.