Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks are both set to start for England in the UEFA Nations League against Spain on Monday night, as Gareth Southgate looks to plug holes in his team as a result of suspensions.
Southgate has confirmed that Gomez will replace John Stones for the game in Seville, while it has been reported that Winks will get the nod in place of Jordan Henderson.
“It’s probably pretty clear Joe Gomez will be coming in for John [Stones],” the Three Lions boss is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“He’s in really good form for his club and his matches for us against Spain and Brazil have been really polished,” Southgate added, referring to Gomez’s previous England appearances.
“He’s a young defender but he is a very good defender, good athleticism, uses the ball well. I’m looking forward to seeing him in this game. It’s another opportunity for us to look at younger players. We’re slowly building a squad of players who are comfortable playing at the highest level.”
Southgate did not directly confirm Winks’ involvement, but Sky Sports claims to have learned from its sources that the Spurs talent will be the one to come in for Henderson in midfield.
Southgate did, however, speak very positively about Winks’ attributes and skillset.
“I think can play as a deep lying pivot or a number eight. He’s very good at connecting the game, sees good pictures. His technique is solid. He’s less of a final third player, but a builder of the game,” the manager is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“Technically [he is] a good player, composed, and has faced top opposition in those two teams already. He has some experience of big matches. We were pleased with him against Lithuania.”
Already halfway through the inaugural Nations League campaign, Spain are firm favourites from the group to progress to the competition’s ‘Finals’ at the end of the season. England and Croatia, meanwhile, desperately need points to avoid relegation to League B.