First name on team-sheet - BBC pundit compares Tottenham's Harry Winks to Italian legend

Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur and Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace battle for possession during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at Wembley...

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has been sensational so far this season.

Leon Osman of Everton celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on November 22, 2014 in...

Ex-Everton ace Leon Osman was a guest on BBC Radio Five Live last night, and lavished praise upon Spurs star Harry Winks, insisting that the youngster should be the first name on Gareth Southgate's England team-sheet.

The 21-year-old midfielder has really impressed for Tottenham this season, after being given an elevated role within the squad by Mauricio Pochettino, earning his first full cap for the Three Lions in the process.

Winks has stamped his authority down on the Spurs side, and it could be argued that he is even in front of Mousa Dembele now in the midfield pecking order at the club.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur show appreciation to the fans after the UEFA Champions League group H match between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur...

The cultured manner in which he operates certainly cannot be described as quintessentially English, and it must be wonderfully refreshing for Southgate to have such a classy option in the middle of the park.

Osman, who earned two caps for the England national team, claimed that Winks would be the first name on his team-sheet if he were the national team manager, when speaking live on BBC Radio Five Live:

“For me Harry Winks is the first name on that team-sheet at the moment. He’s the guy who Italy had in Pirlo, I’m not saying he’s at that level yet, but he links everything up. He’s the guy who links the back and the front up.”

Harry Winks of Spurs in action during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England.

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There is, of course, still a lot of football to be played between now and Russia 2018, so Winks will need to maintain his consistency, if he is to have any chance of earning a World Cup berth for England.

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