England manager Gareth Southgate owes Mauricio Pochettino a debt of gratitude.
Young Spurs midfielder Harry Winks became the 12th of the last 30 England debutants to be coached by the Tottenham manager during the weekend’s 1-0 win in Lithuania. In fact, 15 players have emerged for The Three Lions since Pochettino first arrived at Southampton in 2013, Adam Lallana, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and co evolving into genuinely top class talent.
Any young, homegrown players who want to be given a chance to fulfil their potential in a league overran by imported talents, therefore, should see Spurs as the first port of call.
And with the January transfer window already looming on the horizon, it appears that Pochettino has his sights on one or two more young English starlets –talented, speedy wingers in particular.
The Mirror reported last week that Everton’s 19-year-old starlet Ademola Lookman is on Spurs’ radar after the teenager tumbled down the pecking order at Goodison Park. Just nine months after earning an £11 million move from Charlton and scoring seconds into his debut against Manchester City, Lookman is still awaiting his first appearance of the new campaign.
Meanwhile, the same publication reported that Spurs were desperate to bring Demarai Gray to North London in the summer before reports broke that the England Under-21 star was set for a new contract with Leicester City despite being frustrated over a lack of game time.
It doesn’t take a genius, then, to work out what sort of player Pochettino wants in January.