Oliver Skipp looks set to miss a significant portion, if not all, of Spurs’ pre-season after suffering a disappointing injury blow this week.
The 20-year-old Hotspur Way academy graduate has enjoyed a brilliant season on-loan at Norwich City, where he has helped deliver their second promotion to the Premier League in three years.
On Tuesday night against Reading, Skipp limped off in stoppage time with what seemed to be a foot problem, and now the extent of the injury has been revealed.
His season is now over.
Speaking to local reporters, Canaries boss Daniel Farke said:
“[It is] a big concern. It was pretty painful for him and our physios’ first assessment was they are not that optimistic for him. It seems like a major injury. Right now, too soon to give a firm prediction. We have to continue to assess him over these coming days but it was pretty sore.
“It is a shame because he was unbelievable this season. One of our outstanding players. All our thoughts are with him and we hope he is capable of being fit for the new season.
“It is an issue with his foot. We think it could be broken.”
Spurs themselves have since confirmed that Skipp did indeed fracture his metatarsal and that he’s had surgery to repair the broken bone.
Given that he’s gone under the knife, it’s highly likely that Skipp will be in recovery and rehab for most of the summer and that will surely hinder his chances of making the Tottenham senior fold next term.
The young midfielder has been lauded as the “future captain” of the club and has hugely impressed at Carrow Road this term.
He is widely expected to be a first-team presence in the near future and you would imagine that whoever is in charge of Spurs come the summer would like to take a good look at him to assess if he truly does have the potential to step up into the Premier League.
Skipp has played the second-most minutes (3,863) for Norwich this season, so that only tells you just how crucial he has been to their fortunes. Additionally, his teammate Kenny McLean, explained just how integral he has been to the side, he told Sky Sports:
“He makes my job a hell of a lot easier, I’ll tell you that. He’s been outstanding all season and we’re lucky to have him to be honest. For this level, he’s very outstanding and he’s got a huge career ahead of him.”
The 5 foot 9 dynamo could be an ideal partner for the ever-present Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the heart of Spurs’ midfield.
There are doubts over the futures of Harry Winks and Dele Alli; Moussa Sissoko is getting no younger at 31 and both Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso are better deployed in more advanced roles.
However, if Skipp does miss pre-season – or at least the start of the next era under Daniel Levy’s next appointment, as is now expected after his surgery – then Spurs may well want to seek reinforcements in the transfer market and that would deal a crushing blow to his prospects in N17.
Skipp has featured 23 times for Spurs since his debut in October 2018 and should undoubtedly be a big player for the Lilywhites in years to come.
This injury is obviously unfortunate for the player but it is also a cruel setback to the next manager of Spurs, whoever that turns out to be, as he may not be able to take a proper look at Skipp’s credentials, which in turn will impact his plans for next season.
A new manager will always be keen to get a good look at his new players in person, especially a highly-touted youngster but it looks like whoever takes over the Spurs hotseat may have to wait a while before he can assess Skipp close up.
That’s a blow to the incumbent manager as he would want to have as much information as possible about his players and his squad going into his first season in the dugout, but alas, it looks like he’ll have to settle for watching replays of Skipp’s Norwich’s performances to make a decision on whether he feels he is good enough, or if he needs to go into the transfer market.
AND in other news, In-house hire could be Martin Jol 2.0 at Spurs…