Harry Winks has revealed the reason England boss Gareth Southgate gave him for leaving him out of Nations League squad back in June.
The 23-year-old was overlooked for the tournament's inaugural finals as England lost in the semi-finals to the Netherlands but has since earned himself a recall to the national side ahead of their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
Winks expressed his disappointment at missing out in the summer after a groin injury that kept him out for almost two months proved to be too much of a risk for Southgate despite the midfielder proving his fitness by starting in Tottenham’s Champions League final defeat to Liverpool.
The three-cap England player understood the decision after the manager informed him that his omission was purely due to a shortage of game time.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash against Bulgaria, with quotes carried by the Daily Mail, Winks said: “I am delighted to be back in the squad. It was difficult to get left out at the end of last season after the Champions League but I have spoken to Gareth and he told me his reasons.
“I totally understand them and respect them. He just told me to work hard and start the season off well and I think I have done.
“Luckily I am back in the squad and looking forward to going up and meeting up with the boys.”
Winks’ absence in Portugal may have been a blessing in disguise for the player as his importance to Southgate’s side was clearly demonstrated.
England’s inability to control the midfield against the Netherlands saw them defeated in the semi-finals and miss out of automatic qualification for next years European Championship finals.
Winks, who hasn't represented his nation since November 2018, has started every game for Spurs so far this season and impressed during their 2-2 draw against rivals Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday.
The man who is widely expected to start in England’s midfield at Wembley on Saturday took a late knock and was seen leaving the Emirates with a bandage around his left wrist.
On the injury Winks said: “It's fine. I got caught late in the game and it is a little bit swollen but it looks worse than it is.”