Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks was called up to the full England squad for the first time on Monday following the withdrawal of Manchester City’s Fabian Delph through injury, but while he and his family will undoubtedly be delighted, not everyone will be so delighted with the news.
The 21-year-old got the call from Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate and has been promoted from the U21 squad, in what has proven to be a great couple of weeks for the talented starlet.
Winks had to be patient in waiting for a first team opportunity in the early stages of the season as he returned from the ankle injury he suffered against Burnley at the start of April that kept him on the sidelines for the final two months of the campaign, but injuries to both Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama mean that he has started three of the north London outfit’s last four matches in all competitions.
He has certainly impressed too with his quality on the ball and in possession as he looks to establish himself as a key first team player this season, having made his breakthrough last term.
Winks was quick to take to his official Twitter account to say it was the ‘proudest moment of his career’ and while he is probably unlikely to play a part on the pitch during England’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia – which if they win they will take their spot in Russia next summer – at Wembley on Thursday, he could easily get the nod for the second match against Lithuania on Sunday if qualification is secured and Southgate has the opportunity to give some of the fringe players in the squad a chance to impress in Vilnius.
Most amazing honour being called into the @England senior squad proudest moment of my career❤️
— Harry Winks (@HarryWinks) October 2, 2017
The 21-year-old is likely to push himself further in training than perhaps he would have with the Under-21s as he knows that he can impress the Three Lions boss with the World Cup now just over eight months away, and that could in turn increase the risk of picking up an injury.
One person that may not be quite as chuffed with the news as the midfielder is his club boss Mauricio Pochettino, whose team are bang in form and have won six of their last seven matches in all competitions – drawing the other with Swansea City.
As we mentioned previously, the Argentine manager has already been without Dembele and Wanyama in recent weeks because of ankle and knee problems respectively, and he certainly won’t want to lose another central midfielder to injury right now as his team look to compete for the Premier League title and advance in the Champions League.
While you may think that might be a little dramatic, Tottenham do have previous with their players picking up injuries while on international duty.
Just 13 months ago Danny Rose picked up a hamstring problem in the win away for his country in Slovakia that saw him miss Spurs’ next seven matches, while Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Vincent Janssen all also picked up knocks while on international duty in 2016.
Pochettino will know that he can’t afford for that to happen to Winks right now with the congested fixture list showing no sign of easing up.
In addition the midfielder may still be getting back to 100% following the first major injury of his career, and Pochettino will certainly be concerned about a recurrence of the ankle problem while he is away with the senior squad.
While there is no doubt that the 45-year-old will be proud that yet another Tottenham player has made into the full England squad, he will certainly have his fingers crossed in the next five or six days that he receives no bad injury updates on his talented young midfielder.