Tottenham star Harry Winks has been likened by Mauricio Pochettino to Andres Iniesta, but his youth coach sees him more in the mould of Zinedine Zidane.

Comparisons with the now Real Madrid boss are high praise but Russell Small – who coached Winks – made the Tottenham star change position and his aspirations for the 23-year-old have come true.

“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,” Small told the Daily Mail .

Winks has now become a regular in Tottenham’s midfield and scored his first England goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win in Kosovo.

And the midfielder, who looks a shoo-in for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, has never forgotten the words of wisdom given to him as a youngster.

Small continued: “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.

“Mauricio Pochettino has called him ‘Little Iniesta’.

“If there was anyone I would compare him to it would be Zinedine Zidane. The way he could see a pass, short or long, he could go past a player and he scored goals.

“He was average height but very slight. He was physical enough and agile enough to use his skills and keep out the way of stronger players. I can’t remember him having a bad game, he was that consistent at that age. There was nothing you asked him to do that he couldn’t do.”

Winks signed a new five-year deal earlier this year which will keep him at Tottenham until 2024.

 

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Wilfried Zaha has mocked the Daily Mail on social media over a report claiming the Crystal Palace winger was ready to sue his agent over a failed summer move.

Zaha was expected to leave Selhurst Park at the end of last season after helping keep the club in the Premier League during a second stint at the club that lasted five years.

The winger outlined his desire to leave in April and was thought to have held meetings with club chairman Steve Parish over his future.

But Zaha stayed at Palace after neither Arsenal nor Everton could match a valuation that seemed to fluctuate with each week, with £80million reportedly demanded at one point.

And the Daily Mail claimed on Monday evening that Zaha was ‘taking legal action against his agent’ over his ‘failure to secure him a transfer from Crystal Palace last summer’.

However, Zaha moved to deny the allegations on Twitter by laughing them off, he wrote: “do you lot sit and literally wonder what I’m up too then just make up stuff about me.”

 

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League