Mauricio Pochettino will be risking the fitness of top scorer Harry Kane if he plays for Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal in the north London derby next weekend, according to England boss Gareth Southgate after he insisted there was "no way" the pair could have featured in the back-to-back international friendlies.

Midfielder Winks and leading striker Kane both joined teammate Dele Alli (hamstring) in pulling out of the Three Lions squad for high-profile meetings with Germany and Brazil earlier this week after sustaining respective ankle and knee injuries during the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The subsequent exits of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester City duo Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling took the total number of withdrawals to six.

The validity of Kane's knock in particular has come under scrutiny after Pochettino, who is also currently without Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela, said during his book launch on Wednesday (8 November) that the player was "OK" and would be available to face Arsenal when the domestic season resumes on [18 November]

However, Southgate maintains he is definitely injured and believes all of the aforementioned cases are genuine, playing down any potential club versus country rows.

"Yeah, absolutely," he told reporters at a pre-Germany press conference held at St George's Park on Thursday morning. "Harry Kane - I knew he was in trouble because he stayed down - Harry Kane doesn't stay down.

"Both him and Harry Winks were scanned, our medical department reviewed, and there is no way they're available for our two games. Spurs might risk them for the Arsenal game, that's a different matter. I hear this talk of club v country - it's nonsense. They are injured and they can't play."

He added: "Having been a player I am not a manager who wants to wheel players out until they break, so I don't take risks with players. It's their livelihood, it's their career.

"As a manager you have a duty of care to your players to make sure things are done correctly. The last two international weeks, every player that has gone back from here has been available to play for their club the following weekend."

Southgate has already added West Bromwich Albion's Jake Livermore and Burnley midfielder Jack Cork to his initial squad and confirmed that he may turn to the Under-21s for further reinforcements before the visit of Brazil, with Aidy Boothroyd's side not due to play again until March after their 2019 European Championship qualifier against Ukraine on Friday [10 November].

The England boss also condemned the offensive chanting that took place during March's defeat to Germany in Dortmund as "completely unacceptable" and claimed that the visitors had taken a "huge step" by agreeing to mirror their hosts by wearing black armbands emblazoned with poppies at Wembley Stadium after Fifa amended their controversial ban in September.

Harry Kane and Harry Winks
Harry Kane and Harry Winks are two of six players to have withdrawn from the England squad Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images