Name: Oliver Skipp
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Date of Birth: 16 September 2000
Position: Defensive midfielder
Oliver Skipp – his career so far
Oliver Skipp is easily among the most talented young players Tottenham Hotspur have to offer at the very moment. The 19-year-old defensive midfielder is already a first-team player despite his young age and has featured for Jose Mourinho’s squad throughout the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Born in Welwyn Garden City, Skipp, often called “Skippy” within the club, has clawed his way through Spurs’ youth ranks, featuring for their U18 squad back in 2016/17 when he was still only a schoolboy and then plying his trade for both their U23 and UEFA U18 teams, impressing in all of them respectively.
Of course, being a defensive midfielder by trade, the young talent never excelled at scoring goals but he did tally six assists for the U18 team, one goal and two assists for the U23s and even two assists in the 20 senior games played for Spurs.
His first real senior moments arrived in 2018/19 when he made his debut in the 2018 pre-season tour of the United States and then made an appearance in an official matchday squad for the first time vs Barcelona in the Champions League.
Soon after, he was on the bench for Spurs’ victory over Cardiff in the Premier League and then made his full debut in a 3-1 win at West Ham in the Carabao Cup before coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 win over Southampton at Wembley in the Premier League later in December.
Since that moment, he’s been able to record a total of 20 first-team appearances for Spurs, tallying a total of eight in 2019/20 before the season was abruptly put on hold. But with the return of football, it’s very likely we also see the return of Skipp as the future indeed looks very bright for the 19-year-old midfielder.
Even though some transfer rumours were surrounding Skipp back in January, he seems to be in Mourinho’s plans at the moment. The youngster was consistently praised by the Special One following his great performances in 2019/20 and it’s fair to assume he’ll be given even more chances as time goes on.
But speaking of transfer news and transfer rumours, some reports were stating that he was keen on a loan move during the January transfer window with a reported preference for the English clubs, making a move to the Championship a possibility back then.
But no new Tottenham news indicate that the player will be considered for an exit as of right now, making those transfer rumours practically obsolete. His current contract, however, is valid only until 2021 according to Transfermarkt, and it will be interesting to see if those transfer news do come back at some point in the near future.
Even though he is just 19, Skipp’s biggest strengths seem to lie in his mentality and confidence on the pitch. The youngster is calm and composed on the ball and makes sure to stay a couple of steps ahead of his opposition when he’s in possession.
As a defensive midfielder, his task is often to dictate the tempo and progress the ball into the advanced zones. He also seems to possess a certain dose of press-resistance and he uses his dribbling to get out of tight situations.
As per Wyscout’s database, Skipp recorded 2.05 dribbles per 90 minutes over all seasons included, tallying 50.8% success rate at the same time. When we combine this with his ability to pass the ball and direct it forward – as he can boast with 92% passing accuracy and 15.19 forward passes per 90 minutes in 2019/20 – that makes him a stable and secure presence in Spurs’ team when they are in possession.
Lastly, even though he is often positioned in deeper areas, he made 7.53 recoveries per 90 minutes in 2019/20 and his awareness of the pitch means he knows when to move up and when to stay put and drop into his own half.
With Spurs news lately being quite gloomy with all the injuries and a thin squad, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give Skipp a much bigger role once football eventually returns.
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