Harry Winks has thanked Mauricio Pochettino for giving him the chance to break through at Tottenham, amid continued speculation over the coach's position at the helm.
Winks rose through the youth ranks at Spurs before signing his first professional contract with the club in 2014, shortly after Pochettino's arrival.
The young playmaker has since established himself as a regular in Tottenham's starting line up, while also catching the eye of England head coach Southgate.
Winks, 23, has already earned six caps for his country in total, starting in both of the Three Lions' final Euro 2020 qualifying wins over Montenegro and Kosovo over the last five days.
The Tottenham star is also enjoying a solid season at club level, racking up 11 Premier League appearances in total while standing out in a team which has suffered an alarming dip in form.
Pochettino's future at the club has been called into question recently, but Winks will be "forever thankful" to his manager for the key role he has played in his career development.
“I’ve said many times and I will always say it, I’ve got everything to thank the gaffer for,” Winks told Talk Sport.
“He gave me the opportunity and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for him.
“Of course I’ve had to work hard to get here, but getting that opportunity in the first place is always difficult and I’m forever thankful to the manager for giving me that opportunity.”
Spurs are sitting 14th in the Premier League after 12 fixtures of the 2019-20 campaign, already 11 points adrift of a place in the top four.
With a crucial trip to the Olympic Stadium to face West Ham up next on Saturday, the pressure is building on Pochettino to spark a revival heading into a busy festive period.
The Argentine continues to be linked with a move away from north London, but Winks isn't paying attention to the ongoing rumours and insists the squad are still pulling together in the same direction.
“The manager is always happy to have everybody back because we can train together as a team again," he added.
“When everybody goes away separately to their countries, it’s difficult to get the same amount of training in and work on the tactical issues we need to work on, so it will be good for the manager to get everybody back in now and build-up towards the West Ham game.
“Now I’m back at Tottenham I want to get back on the field with the lads, and prepare for the Premier League.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in as short space of time, as well as the Champions League where we’ve got a great opportunity to get through.
“So it’s going to be a tough period over the next couple of months with so many games, but it’s an exciting time.
“It’s time for us to really kick on now and start to get some wins and climb the table.”