LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has described Harry Winks as "the perfect midfielder" and says his unique qualities provide a different option for Tottenham.
Winks, 21, impressed in Spurs' 3-0 win against Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League on Tuesday after coming through 90 minutes unscathed in last week's Carabao Cup win over Barnsley -- his first start in six months.
He was named in the England under-21 squad on Thursday, having skipped a call-up last month to focus on recovering from the ankle injury he suffered in a Premier League match at Burnley in April.
Pochettino says Winks can provide Spurs with something different now that he is fit, and says his versatility and reading of the game set him apart.
"For me, he is the perfect midfielder, who can play box-to-box and like a holding midfielder," he said.
"He has the quality and the capacity to play and use the demand of the game and read it. He's so clever, and we are so happy that he starts to feel better now because he provides to the team qualities that we don't have.
"He is completely different to our other midfielders like [Victor] Wanyama, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko.He has qualities to add to the team that are completely different
"He is one of the options we have and we celebrate that, because to have the possibility to have him on the team provides us with more quality and more options to play in a different way."
Winks' performance in Cyprus helped make up for the absence of Christian Eriksen, who missed the trip through illness.
He is probably the closest player to the Denmark international, named Spurs' supporters' player of the season last year, in the squad but Pochettino was reluctant to compare them, adding: "It's bad to compare two players. I think both are so good and both fit perfectly for us. But in different aspects, they are different."
Eriksen is expected to return for Saturday's Premier League match at Huddersfield, leaving Winks and Sissoko to battle for a spot in midfield, while Dembele and Wanyama remain sidelined.
But Pochettino warned not to expect too much too soon from Winks, who is still playing catch-up after struggling through preseason with pain in his ankle.
"I think he is working so hard after his injury last season and he has started to recover his best feelings," Pochettino said. "I think he was fantastic against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup and two days ago against Apoel the same, he started to playing in his best.
"We must be careful with him because after a lot of time without competiton, to provide him with good rest. It's not the same when you have a proper preseason and you are fit. It's completely different for him, when he is doing different jobs to get fit as possible. We need to try to give the best solution to try to keep that level and then to be regular and the possibility to play more."