Mauricio Pochettino believes that Harry Winks has the quality to be as good as Xavi or Andrés Iniesta – but must first improve his mentality.
The 22-year-old has struggled with injury over the past few seasons – missing over 30 games since 2017 due to a number of different knocks.
The England international has been a perennial substitute so far this term, but the Argentine tactician has insisted that Winks has all the technical quality to be one of the very best in the Premier League, but has to dedicate himself to the game.
“Harry has the profile of the midfield player perfect,” Pochettino told reporters
“But I don’t want to talk and praise his quality too much because if so his head [grows big]. His perception will be ‘wow’ and the reality is you still need to prove [yourself].
“The characteristics are perfect to play football. When we talk about midfielders, because you like to use Spanish midfielders like Xavi and Iniesta, he’s like this type of player, this capacity.
“But please, he needs to take in a very positive way my words. He needs a lot of work. He has the possibility and the potential but now it is up to him and we go again: mentality.
“In his mind, he is capable to learn to suffer, that there never is enough training, to always try to be better, [to learn that] football is his focus, not business that is around football.
“Maybe [if he learns this] he will arrive to play in 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.
“But of course his potential is to be a very, very good player for England and Tottenham — first for Tottenham and then, if England believe that he can help them, for England too.”