Tottenham youngster Harry Winks has played once for the senior team this season.
Winks made a 14 minute appearance against Qarabag back in September, and he has told the official Spurs website what he has learned about senior football this season.
The young midfielder said: “You’ve got to be mentally a lot stronger [in first-team training], physically a lot stronger, and the game is a lot quicker. It’s more difficult, if you make a mistake you get punished for it, but it is what you want [as a young player]. I just want to play as much football as I can, so fingers crossed for Thursday that I can get some minutes [v Monaco].”
Winks made his debut under Mauricio Pochettino last season, and has risen to further prominence this term as a consistent trainer with the first-team set-up.
A 19-year-old midfielder, he played 14 minutes of the 3-1 win over Qarabag back in September, and has been on the substitutes bench for all-but one of their Europa League ties.
Winks has even been on the bench three times in the Premier League, and although he has yet to make his league debut, it is clear that Pochettino rates him highly enough to consider the youngster as part of his senior set-up.
Winks himself has admitted that he has noticed a massive difference between playing at Under-21 level - which he is still doing almost every week - and the football that is played amongst the seniors.
It is more draining, both on a physical and mental level, and the smallest mistake can be capitalised on by the opposition, meaning there is almost no margin for error.
These are differences which can be hard for many players to adapt to, but Winks has shown a maturity in his play at youth level which suggests he is made for success in senior football.
Winks has a wealth of potential, and in Pochettino, a manager willing to risk and develop young players, and it appears as if the midfielder will be the next starlet to establish himself in the Spurs team over the coming years.