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At the beginning of the year, England’s midfield prospects did not look too promising. It only seems fitting that youngsters like Harry Winks and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have emerged as viable options right before the colossal World Cup next year. This will definitely provide Southgate with some reassurance going forward and both players have been performing excellently over the past couple of months.
England played reigning champions Germany recently and held them to a 0-0 draw, and it was Ruben Loftus-Cheek who was impressive in his debut performance. Playing against a top-ranked side like Germany is quite intimidating and yet, the 21-year-old dominated several times to keep trouble at bay. In fact, his performance reminded many of Harry Winks. The Tottenham youngster made a similar impact when he made his bow, as England won 1-0 in a qualifying match against Lithuania.
Given a choice, which player should Southgate go ahead with?
Over the last few years, Chelsea have not produced the best of young talents. Loftus-Cheek, however, broke the mould and it came as a pleasant surprise to many. He took his time and rose through the ranks at Stamford Bridge, having truly earned a name for himself. His performances for England have been encouraging as well and he is being regarded as one of the most exciting young midfield talents in the country.
The youngster was going through a rough patch at Chelsea as his time on the field was extremely limited under both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. However, he was then loaned out to Crystal Palace and Loftus-Cheek has been enjoying an incredible run of form at the club.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have always encouraged their young talents and have produced some of the finest players over the years. Over the past month or so, Harry Winks is the latest name to grace the list. He has proven to be a midfield maestro for Spurs, and his performances have earned Southgate’s attention.
Injuries to Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele provided the ideal opportunity for Winks to make a mark and he has grabbed it with both hands. A true testament to how far he has come was Tottenham’s game against Real Madrid, where he dabbled with the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to come out on top.
Both players are seemingly on the right path but if it comes down to choosing one of them, Southgate should choose Winks. It is simply a matter of quality. While Loftus-Cheek has been brilliant, Winks has proven himself on a lot of fronts in the last couple of months.