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Spurs could unearth Oliver Skipp 2.0 in Harvey White

Antonio Conte could have another Oliver Skipp waiting in the wings at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Italian head coach has been without his impressive midfield terrier for several games now and his absence has been sorely felt – indeed, the north London outfit has lost three of their last four matches without the 21-year-old in the starting XI.

When he arrived in November, replacing Nuno Santo in the dugout, Skipp quickly emerged as a key starter for the one-time Premier League and FA Cup winner and from his first six league outings, the Lilywhites recorded five clean sheets.

The only game in which Spurs failed to keep a clean sheet with the academy graduate starting was against Liverpool.

Fast forward to now and Conte’s outfit have leaked eight goals without him.

Evidently, the 52-year-old is missing a player of his skill set and ability but perhaps he has another young gem in a similar mould at Hotspur Way.

Step forward, Harvey White.

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What is interesting about the 20-year-old is that he’s capable of influencing the game further forward, as well as doing his duty in his own third.

From a defensive midfield position, White has scored five of his seven goals and provided six of his seven assists across 20 appearances for the U23s this term, via Transfermarkt.

A direct goal contribution once every 127 minutes is remarkable from any sort of deeper midfield role.

And just like Skipp, the England U18 international has enjoyed a successful – and professional – stint away from N17 as he made his mark at League One outfit Portsmouth last season, where manager Danny Cowley tipped him for big things in the future.

“Harvey is going to be a good player and got real maturity beyond his years. He’s a really intelligent footballer. He watches loads of football, understands it and gets it,” he told local reporters (via The News).

“You only have to tell him an instruction once. He’s like a sponge and you’ll tell him something once and then he’ll be doing it. He’s so easy to coach, a coach’s dream.

“He’s got a great attitude, good pitch coverage now we’re trying to get him used to the combative nature of the transitional game in League One he’s probably not used to in development football.”

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That ‘combative’ nature echoes the sort of playing style we see from Skipp every week when he’s fit and indeed, the 5 foot 6 dynamo averaged 3.4 tackles at a success rate of 66.6% per 90 minutes at Fratton Park.

He also registered an average of 1.2 clearances and 1.6 key passes per 90 in the third tier of English football too, as per WhoScored.

White almost seems like another Skipp but one that is capable of getting forward and contributing in the final third but doing so without compromising his positioning and the team’s shape.

In the 20-year-old terrier, Conte could certainly have his next midfield beast. He’ll be worth a look during pre-season ahead of next term, that’s for sure.

AND in other news, Conte could seal mega Moura upgrade in £63m-rated “weapon” who destroyed Pochettino’s Spurs

Article title: Spurs could unearth Oliver Skipp 2.0 in Harvey White

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