Antonio Conte has dropped an injury update on Oliver Skipp ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League clash with Everton.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Italian revealed that, despite previously suggesting that the midfielder should be in line for a return to action in mid-February, the 21-year-old remains unavailable for selection for the fixture against Everton this evening – as the England U21 international is still yet to recover from a groin injury.
The 52-year-old went on to state his belief that Spurs’ club doctors should publicly explain the reasoning behind Skipp’s continued absence, something which suggests he does not have a lot of faith in the Tottenham Hotspur medical staff.
Regarding Skipp’s injury, Conte said: “Oliver Skipp, it is a pity. In England, I think that sometimes you should have a [press] conference with the medical department. It is too easy for the doctors to work here because they don’t speak, they don’t explain what happens.
“Sometimes I think that could be good… if, in two weeks… to have a good press conference with the medical department to explain about the situation that they are trying to take care of their players. Skipp is not ready. He’s having this problem with groin pain. He is fighting. He could recover before but maybe something was wrong. And now we have to wait.”
Considering just how important a part of Conte’s side Skipp has become since the manager’s arrival at Tottenham back in November, the news that the midfielder will once again be unavailable for selection this evening is sure to have left the Italian fuming.
Indeed, over his 18 Premier League appearances so far this season, the £18m-rated academy product has been in extremely fine form, making an average of 42.3 passes, 0.7 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 0.4 clearances and winning 3.6 duels per game – with these returns seeing the 21-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.81.
Furthermore, despite having missed Tottenham’s last seven fixtures due to his injury, the £24k-per-week dynamo has still been Conte’s joint 12th-most selected player since his appointment at the club last year.
As such, it is clear for all to see exactly why Conte is so frustrated with the continued absence of Skipp, as the youngster is very much a crucial part of the former Inter Milan manager’s first-team plans in North London – with the 21-year-old’s unavailability for the Everton clash, as well as potentially the Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion fixtures, sure to come as a huge blow to the 52-year-old.