With Antonio Conte heading into his first Premier League game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the Italian manager would have undoubtedly been hoping to get his reign at Spurs off to a positive start against Everton.
However, the fixture turned out to be a rather cagey affair, with Tottenham just edging the greater share of possession, Everton having more shots at goal, Spurs creating more big chances and the Toffees enjoying more attacking momentum than the visitors – although neither side managed to find the breakthrough, with the game ending 0-0.
Despite failing to take all three points from the fixture, there were nevertheless a couple of Tottenham players who will have done themselves no harm in strengthening their spot in Conte’s first-team plans going forwards – one of whom was 21-year-old central midfielder, Oliver Skipp.
Having broken into the Tottenham first-team this season after a highly impressive loan spell at Norwich City last term, the Italian manager opted to keep the young midfielder in his starting XI for Spurs’ trip to Everton on Sunday, ahead of the likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Harry Winks.
And, over his 90 minutes on the pitch at Goodison Park, the £13.5m-rated man did not disappoint, enjoying 58 touches of the ball, completing 43 of his 46 attempted passes – a success rate of 93% – and finding his man with two of his three attempted long balls, as well as making two key passes.
The £24k-per-week England U21 international also impressed in metrics more typical of his defensive midfield position, making three tackles, blocking one shot, making two interceptions and winning four of his seven duels.
As such, while Emerson Royal rightly deserves praise for his own performance at right wing-back against the Toffees, it will perhaps be the performance of Skipp that most pleased the 52-year-old manager, as the youngster ran the show on Sunday.