Winks: ‘I’m really proud of Kyle’
Wed 21 August 2019, 18:02|Tottenham Hotspur
In September, 2013, Kyle Walker-Peters and Harry Winks started for our Under-18s in a 4-1 win over Manchester City.
In May, 2015, they both played again, this time for the Under-21s in a 3-3 thriller at City Football Academy.
Harry even scored in both games.
This past weekend, the pair started for the first team in an all-action Premier League battle just across the road in front of 54,503 people at the Etihad.
For central midfielder Winksy, it was the latest on a long list of demanding top-flight games against a top-four rival but, for young right-back Kyle, it was his sternest Premier League test to date on only his 11th appearance in the competition.
“Honestly, I’d put that down as the hardest game I’ve ever played. I’ve never been under relentless pressure like that… never,” admitted the 22-year-old defender after locking horns with Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and co. in our dramatic 2-2 draw.
Nevertheless, he earned a big pat on the back from his fellow Academy graduate, who was impressed with his team-mate’s performance.
“I’m really proud of Kyle,” beamed Winksy. “It’s a big season for him this year, he’s had a big couple of games already in the Premier League this season and now, no bigger test than playing Manchester City away and being up against Sterling, but he handled it exceptionally well.
“I thought he was fantastic on Saturday and playing in the Under-18s with him, going all this way and continuing the journey in the first team, it’s been even more special to see him doing so well, so I’m really pleased for him.”
After going into battle with Kyle at various different levels over the years, what does Harry think the defender has improved on most?
“Everything really,” he said. “Physically he’s still working hard but with his whole defensive reading of the game and making big, important tackles and blocks, he’s been excellent and really worked hard on everything.
“On the ball he has an amazing quality and he’s shown that in every game he’s played, so to go away to City and to perform as he did, it’s a big statement from him.”