Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has delivered the latest update on Oliver Skipp ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Saturday evening.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash at Villa Park, the Italian admitted that Skipp is “not ready”, but that his comeback this season is still the plan for him.
Conte said: “About Oliver Skipp, we have to wait. He’s not ready, he’s still not ready and we need to have patience with him and sort this problem.
“We have to recover him for this season, this has to be the target, it is totally different to the Tanganga situation. Japh had an injury in his knee and his season was out. But for Skipp no. It is important for the player to feel this possibility to recover, also because we need him and we trust him. I am really sorry because he doesn’t deserve to have this type of injury.”
While Rodrigo Bentancur has established himself as a mainstay in this Spurs team following his arrival in the January transfer window, being without Skipp this evening will have Conte gutted.
The academy product is clearly someone who the Italian rates highly behind the scenes, and it was no surprise to see that, prior to his injury, the 21-year-old was getting significant game-time. Indeed, in the club’s 23 Premier League games up until that point, he had featured in 21.
The English youngster offers a sense of calm in midfield, something which has been evident ever since he broke onto the scene a few years ago.
Speaking after the youngster’s debut against Burnley in December 2018, then-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino waxed lyrical about the club’s latest prodigy.
He said of Skipp: “He’s a proper midfielder, a very talented midfielder. He links the game well, always looking forward, very aggressive, his energy is amazing and he’s such a clever guy off the pitch as well as on it, that’s so important for the team. He’s a top player and a top kid and I’m sure he will have a very successful career.”
Therefore, not having Skipp to call upon against Villa is sure to leave Conte disappointed.