By Russell Edge
Former Tottenham and England midfielder Scott Parker has said that the next generation of footballers should be looking to follow in the footsteps of 21-year-old Harry Winks.
The youngster has been a revelation in the centre of the park for Spurs this season, having been thrown into the first team in the midst of an injury crisis by manager Mauricio Pochettino, who was missing senior stars Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama.
He has become an established member of the first team squad and has 13 appearances under his belt this campaign, nine of which have come in the starting XI, of which three have come in the Champions League.
Parker, who played for Spurs between 2011 and 2013 and is now working as a youth coach at the club, says he came across Winks while helping train the youth team at White Hart Lane in 2011, and while he recognised he was a good player, he has been mightily impressed with the way he has progressed.
Despite having so many established stars, including superstar striker Harry Kane, at the club, the former midfielder surprisingly says that it is the youngster who should act as an inspiration for the next generation.
He told the Daily Mail: “I would see Harry as an inspiration. Young academy boys should think: ‘That could be me…’ I remember seeing him and working with the youth team a couple of times.
“He was special but he has since ticked all the other boxes, too. Hard work, graft and understanding of real life. You need to make an impression and Harry has.”
Winks, who received his first England cap earlier this season after making his debut against Lithuania, has a total of 49 appearances for the club, having broken through the youth ranks, and could reach a half century of outings against Arsenal on Saturday.
In other Tottenham news, Dimitar Berbatov has made a shock revelation over his arrival at Spurs.