Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino: 'Harry Winks struggling with ankle injury'

16 March, 2018, 05:06 | Author: Cary Erickson
  • Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur is shown a yellow card by the referee Szymon Marcianiak during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has acknowledged that Harry Winks has struggled to "express himself" in recent months. "We will see because he's going to play for the national team [in the upcoming friendlies] and players are not machines", Pochettino said.

Alli, who scored 22 goals in all competitions for Tottenham last season, has 10 this time, including two in the 3-1 Champions League win over Real Madrid last November.

Alli was taken off late on in the win over Bournemouth with a thigh problem and Pochettino was uncertain whether the player would feature in their FA Cup quarter-final against Swansea on Saturday.

"When you compare him, Dele Alli, a 21-year-old, with all the players in the world I think he is the best in his age", said Pochettino.

A number of players who are slightly older than Alli have established themselves in the big leagues, such as Manchester City's Leroy Sane, but Pochettino insisted: "Last season, who was the best?" It's a little bit sad because he tries and we try to help. "But in terms of the project I think we are doing fantastic".

The Argentine manager though feels that he has a number of players in the form of Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Heung-Min Son and Fernando Llorente to fill in the role in the absence of Kane.

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The striker is expected to be back in training at some point next month, although the derby with Chelsea on April 1 is likely to be too soon.

"For me the most important thing is how you're going to use the space in every single game, trying to defeat the different tactics that the opponent is going to use".

The statistics bear this out as he is joint-top of the list of goals and assists made by 21-year-olds in Europe's biggest five leagues this season.

"I don't understand why people still criticise him".

"The reality is now he's in his crutches and a boot and we need to assess him day-by-day and we'll see the reaction".

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