Ashley Cole has suggested Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks played a key role in England’s second half improvement against Belgium on Sunday.

England fell to a 2-0 defeat in Belgium thanks to early strikes from Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens, but there were plenty of positives as Harry Kane looked sharp up front without much support and Jack Grealish put in a man of the match performance.

The Three Lions seemed to improve going forward when Winks replaced Jordan Henderson at half-time. Winks – who hasn’t been used much by Jose Mourinho of late – was forward thinking and acted quickly to get England on the front foot.

And Cole, on punditry duty for Sky Sports, noted that Winks was pivotal to England’s revival, despite Gareth Southgate’s men failing to find a way back into the game.

“You’ve got Henderson in front with Declan Rice, maybe I would like to see someone better on the ball,” said the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender (as relayed by HITC).

“I think when Harry Winks came on it livened the game up a bit, he was forward passing a little bit more.”

It was good to see Winks looking confident after losing his place in the Spurs team, a result of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s impact and Tanguy Ndombele’s improvement this season.

It will be interesting to see if the 24-year-old starts against Iceland on Wednesday.



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