Mauricio Pochettino sees Harry Winks in similar mould to Xavi & Andrés Iniesta

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that Harry Winks has the potential to be as good as Xavi or Andrés Iniesta.

Winks caught the eye on the world stage after being named Man of the Match on his England debut against Lithuania last October, before following that up with two excellent displays against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Due to an ongoing ankle injury, the 22-year-old barely featured in the second half of last season and also missed out on the chance to be included in the England squad for this year's World Cup in Russia.

Although injuries restricted him to only 16 league appearances last season, Winks averaged a 90 percent pass accuracy rate when he did play which helps explain why Pochettino sees him in a similar mould to Xavi and Iniesta.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Spurs' game against Liverpool, Pochettino said:

His characteristics are perfect to play football. When we talk about midfielders, you like to use Spanish midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta. He's like like this type of player. He has this capacity but he needs to take my words in a very positive way. He needs a lot of work.

I don't want to praise him too much because if so his head [grows big]! His perception will be "wow!" And the reality is he still needs to prove [himself].

England are crying out for a passing midfielder in the heart of Gareth Southgate's team, and Pochettino believes Winks can provide the answer.

He has the possibility and the potential, of course, but now it is up to him and we go again: mentality. In his mind he is capable to learn about suffering: there never is enough training, always try to be better. Football must be his focus, not the business around football.

Maybe [if he learns this] he will play at a very good level and be one of the best midfielders in England.

It is not my advice, it is only how I describe the reality. If he wants to take it, take it. If people don't want to take it, we cannot help. But of course his potential is to be a very, very good player for England and Tottenham.

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