A former coach of Harry Winks has explained why he made the decision to convert the star into a central midfielder.
Russell Small, now a part-time coach at Hastings United, was the man who told the England international to play through the middle when he was a youngster.
Winks started out as a free-scoring winger, but Small saw potential in him to control games.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, he said: “When he was a little winger he scored lots of goals, but my idea of playing him in the middle was that he would be more involved and use all his skills much more.
“It made my day to hear him say it’s the best advice he’s been given. If it has stuck in his mind for this long, obviously it was a good decision on my part!
“He took it in his stride. It was already there, that natural ability to read the game and be technically good enough to do what we wanted.”
Winks is a popular figure amongst Tottenham fans and, at the age of 23, the talented star is still many years away from his peak.
Technician Winks has been likened to Spanish legend Andres Iniesta before, but that isn’t exactly the comparison Small would make.
“If there was anyone I would compare him to it would be Zinedine Zidane,” he added. “The way he could see a pass, short or long, he could go past a player and he scored goals.”
TBR’s view – Winks has an exciting future
Winks has a really exciting future ahead of him.
His brilliant technical ability is something that will allow him to stand out, and his capability of dictating games is clear.
He will likely never reach the level of the legendary Zidane, but it’s certainly a nice assessment from Small.