Tottenham Hotspur academy starlet Oliver Skipp continues to impress immensely at Norwich City.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been getting his first real taste of the men’s game in the Championship and has taken to the test like a duck to water.
Indeed, the England U21 international has started all 25 of the Canaries’ league outings, where he has thrived in a defensive midfield role.
Per WhoScored, Skipp has managed to average 2.1 tackles per 90 minutes with a success rate of 77.7%, meaning more often than not, the opposition are struggling to get past him.
This has even be reinforced by teammate Grant Hanley’s glowing endorsement of him to the local press in recent weeks, he believes the young Englishman is a dream for centre-backs like himself. Hanley told the Eastern Daily Press:
“Skippy’s got experience beyond his years really, he looks like he’s played at the top level for 10 or 15 years, it’s hard to think that he’s still so young,” and then added: “I know he gets a lot of credit but then he probably doesn’t get enough sometimes, because he does all the stuff that you love as a centre-half.”
The Hotspur Way academy graduate is also contributing further up the pitch as seen by his average of 0.8 key passes per game in the second-tier.
Whilst this may not be as creative as say an Emi Buendia (3.3 key passes per game) in this current Norwich squad or even that of a Christian Eriksen, a former Spurs great who managed at least 2.1 key passes per game in the Premier League for Spurs in all but his final campaign, it does hint towards him being a nifty box-to-box option in the future.
Perhaps he’s more of a Michael Carrick than any other ex-Spurs midfielder. He too was a player managed by Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, whilst during his time in N17, he was predominantly deployed as a defensive midfielder (33 of 75 appearances).
Neither player is going to set the pulses racing with spectacular and electric performances, but they do the dirty work that often goes unnoticed – Xavi once proclaimed that Carrick was a “complete player,” which makes his constant omission from international stardom all that more baffling. He only went to one World Cup and managed just 34 caps over his playing career.
The young Spurs sensation could be a rare exception to this style of player as he’s already been capped across U16s, U18s and U21s level.
After agreeing to a contract extension, the Spurs boss said: “Everybody in the club is [happy], his team-mates are, I am and Skippy is or not he wouldn’t sign the contract. I think he’s genuinely Tottenham’s future,” before going onto claim: “I see this kid being one day a future captain here by his character, by his personality.”
Also lauded as “phenomenal” by the ‘Special One’ in the past, Skipp is clearly going to be part of the furniture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for years to come, and his experience in Norfolk is only doing his career wonders right now.