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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

England's Harry Winks keen to learn everything he can from Wayne Rooney

Rooney, 33, has linked up with the England squad for one last time for Thursday's friendly against the United States

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks says he will try to learn as much as he can from Wayne Rooney, a player he looked up to in the England team. Reuters
Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks says he will try to learn as much as he can from Wayne Rooney, a player he looked up to in the England team. Reuters

Harry Winks is ready to learn as much as he can during his short time with Wayne Rooney – the man he considered to be the personification of the England team while he was growing up.

Rooney, 33, has linked up with the England squad once more after it was decided Thursday's friendly against the United States will be used as an occasion to mark his international achievements.

He retired from England duty last year, but will collect a 120th cap in the Wayne Rooney Foundation International at Wembley.

Rooney, England's all-time leading goalscorer and most-capped outfield player, joined the squad at St George's Park on Monday and will train up until the United States game before departing.

Winks, who celebrated his seventh birthday days before Rooney made his England debut in February 2003, is at the start of his own international career.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder impressed when handed his second cap in the the 3-2 Uefa Nations League win away to Spain last month.

Now he wants to make use of of the time he has with Rooney to learn from someone he has looked up to.

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"I think some of the boys have probably played with him for England before, but for me it is a bit surreal," he said.

"When I was young, growing up you think of Wayne Rooney as England, and all of the stuff he has done for his club and country it is amazing.

"To be in and around him and to train with him, you see his quality and his professionalism and he is definitely someone to learn off.

"When you are in and around someone like Wayne Rooney, you have to take as much experience from him as possible.

"He has won everything, done everything and he is a top, top player – when you think of England, you think of Wayne Rooney.

"To even have the opportunity to be in the camp with him and share the amazing game he has got coming up is fantastic and I am really looking forward to it."

Wayne Rooney speaks at a press conference at St George's Park. Reuters
Wayne Rooney speaks at a press conference at St George's Park. Reuters

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Rooney confirmed he would speak to the squad at some point during the week.

He also offered up his advice to Winks and the other players in the new crop of talent looking to make a name for themselves with England.

"Enjoy it," he said. "It's a huge honour in your career – probably the biggest honour you can have, to play for your country and represent them in a major tournament, so enjoy it.

"Obviously, it is not all going to be good every time, every tournament, every game, so just keep trying to learn and make sure you're one of the players that can try and bring a trophy back to England, which is long overdue."