Gary Neville believes that the England midfield should be built around Tottenham’s Harry Winks.
The leading pundit is surprised that Winks is yet to become a regular fixture in Gareth Southgate’s team, winning only six caps, and could be the missing piece for major tournament success.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t because England in the last tournament, struggled at times to break the midfield and struggled to get on and keep the ball,” Neville told Sky Sports’ Football Show.
“Think about that semi-final against Croatia when Modric sort of started to dominate the game. It’s the problem England midfield have had over the years.”
A lot of Tottenham fans will be pleased to read such comments, even the Winks detractors among them. I know that I feel very unattached from the England team unless it has Spurs representation it it.
However, what Neville said next may not go down so well.
The former Manchester United defender went on to compare the 24-year-old to Jack Wilshere, who falls behind perhaps only Wojciech Szczesny and Theo Walcott as Spurs hate figures of Arsenal’s recent past.
Neville added: “I think he is the type of player who does play off-line. He can take the ball, he will always receive it on the half turn. I think he is a player who reminds of Jack Wilshere in the way he receives it and glides forward with it.
“I think he is a really good player and I enjoy watching him play. I was surprised in the Champions League final that he was taken off last year because I thought he was having a really good team.”
Stylistically the two are comparable, although I think Winks is closer to the continental, keep the play ticking, midfielder that Neville is looking for. As hard as it is for me to say, Wilshere was probably more talented, more creative, more of a risk taker…before his injuries rendered him useless.