Harry Winks didn’t play for England against Lithuania today, and wasn’t even called up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for this international break. Tottenham Hotspur’s 21-year old midfielder is instead a fixture on Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21 side that is preparing to play in Poland in the U21 European Championships this summer.
But in the Independent, Winks said that he can see himself breaking through into the senior side under Gareth Southgate if he continues to work hard, knowing that England’s manager is one that will give a chance to young players if they are good enough.
"[Boothroyd] has told us that there are opportunities there, as long as we keep performing for club and country and doing well, then the opportunity is there to take.
"With someone like Gareth in charge, he likes young players and he's keen to bring us through and give us opportunities.
"You could see that the other night [in the senior game against Germany], we had a lot of young players playing and it's just down to us really, whether we perform at club level to get the call-up.
"My next step is to take it game-by-game, whether that's for the Under-21s here or for Tottenham back at home.
"I'm quite young and all I can do is perform when I'm given the opportunities, I can't read the future and I can't say I should be here or I should be there."
If we’re honest, Winksy probably isn’t quite ready for the England senior national team, or, he might be ready for a call-up but perhaps not for any significant game time. I don’t say that to slam Winks, but just as a recognition that he’s still young and there are a number of good midfielders that are still ahead of him.
If you’re Winks, there are reasons to be optimistic: Eric Dier and Dele Alli are both regular starters for England, both under Southgate and Hodgson. Southgate appears to be trying to transition England to utilize younger talent ahead of the World Cup in 2018, and there are reasons to think that players like Winks will have a role to play in those sides.
Winksy will need to be patient, but it doesn’t seem at all unlikely that within the next year or so, assuming he maintains his strong level of play for Tottenham, he may be receiving a phone call from Southgate inviting him to his first senior call-up.