THE TEMPTATION is to hang our hats on Harry Winks.
He is 21. He is English. He has just held his own among some of the best players in the world inside the Santiago Bernabeu.
The world is already falling at his feet.
Winks, with his eye-catching, easy-going style on and off the field, looked at home in the company of Real Madrid superstars Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Isco on Tuesday night.
These are still baby steps — impressive steps, nonetheless — by a young player still establishing himself as a first-teamer at Tottenham.
Time after time we seize on these youngsters because we crave a player with the craft, the mischief, the improvisation of a Gascoigne in the centre of midfield.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is justifiably proud of his record of supplying 17 of the last 21 debutants to the national side.
FAN’S VIEW: Harry Winks is destined to be England captain and is shaping into Spurs’ Andres Iniesta
He has already likened Winks — who made his England debut against Lithuania last week — to Spanish genius Andres Iniesta.
It is certainly some comparison for a kid from Hemel Hempstead.
At times it is easy to forget, given Iniesta’s distinguished career, that he was on the bench aged 21 when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.
Xavi Hernandez, regarded as one of the world’s greatest midfielders during Barca’s glory years under Pep Guardiola, was also on the bench that night in the Stade de France.
Amazing to think, but Xavi was 26 at the time.
Suddenly Winks, with his extraordinary rise to prominence, is already being billed as the next big thing to come out of Tottenham’s highly-regarded academy.
Winks is a talent, but the nation almost went down this road before when Tom Carroll was emerging as a young Spurs player.
Carroll is only just getting his career going again with Swansea.
Winks is certainly coping with it all, at ease when he spoke with so much confidence just minutes after the highly-impressive 1-1 draw with Champions League group rivals Real.
Stationed in the centre of midfield, he showed no signs of nerves ahead of the expected one-touch masterclass from Kroos, Casemiro, Modric and Isco.
Kroos and Isco both had 100 touches of the ball. Winks, no matter how well he played, had just over half that.
To dominate, to stifle players with the quality of Real Madrid, takes years of experience.
Winks will need time to adjust, to soak all this up after his rapid promotion for club and country.
Poch loves him, giving him all the encouragement a young player needs to progress into the first-team set-up.
He is the right manager for it, with an impressive record of developing young players at Southampton and Spurs over the years.
Winks is his latest gift to the nation, a talented player with the maturity to keep a level head as the clamour around him grows in the months to come.
When that happens, Winks looks well-prepared for it.
Keep up to date with ALL the transfer news and gossip on our blog