Tottenham prodigy Harry Winks has tipped fellow starlet Kyle-Walker Peters to establish himself in Spurs' first-team set-up this season and hopes the promising right-back will be given an opportunity by Mauricio Pochettino in the coming months.
Winks, 21, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at White Hart Lane last season, making 31 appearances in all competitions before his season was curtailed by an ankle injury in April.
Pochettino has garnered a reputation for developing young talent during his reign at Tottenham, and the view from some quarters is that Walker-Peters is primed to be the next starlet the Argentine will mould into a Premier League star.
The 20-year-old has not played a minute of senior football during his fledgling career but that could soon change due to the £50m sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City. The 27-year-old's position in the Tottenham first-team will likely be filled by Kieran Trippier, and the former Burnley defender's promotion could see Walker-Peters become Spurs' second-choice right-back ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Winks has played with Walker-Peters on many occasions during the pair's time together and seemed to suggest that his former academy cohort could make the step up this season. Tottenham have been heavily linked with a move for Hoffenheim full-back Jeremy Toljan in recent days, but Winks is confident Walker-Peters will be afforded an opportunity to prove himself so long as he maintains his rate of development.
"He's a top player. I've worked with him and played with him since I was 17. I know what he's about and his strengths and weaknesses," Winks told Football.London. "He's technically very good. He's quick, he's intelligent and reads the game well.
"He's been with the boys for the last year or so, so he knows what first team football is about. Hopefully if he keeps improving and working hard he'll get an opportunity."
"There's always pressure to impress and do well," Winks added. "I know Kyle personally. I don't think he'll let it get into his head and get nervous because of it. He's someone who will just take it in his stride and he will continue to improve if he keeps doing that."
Pochettino's faith in Tottenham's young guns could help explain why the north Londoners have been so quiet during the transfer window. Spurs' interest in Everton's Ross Barkley, another young English player, has been well-documented over the past few months but Ronald Koeman revealed on Wednesday (26 July) that the Merseysiders have received no offers for the playmaker.
It remains to be seen if Spurs pilfer Barkley from Everton, who managed to beat their London counterparts to the signing of Newcastle United defender Lewis Gibson, who arrived at Goodison Park in a deal worth £6m. The talented 17-year-old is capable of playing as a left-back and centre-half and will join up with David Unsworth's impressive Under-23 side ahead of the upcoming campaign.