Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho believes Spurs academy graduate Oliver Skipp will be a “big player for the future”, according to Football London.
The 19-year-old midfielder has only made one Tottenham first-team appearance under Mourinho, a 10-minute cameo in the 5-0 hammering of Burnley in December.
However, Skipp has made the Spurs first-team bench multiple times under the Portuguese.
At present, Tottenham are very well equipped in central midfield, with Gedson Fernandes, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko at Mourinho’s disposal.
As a result, Skipp may have to bide his time before being able to break into the first team on a regular basis, but according to Football London, this will be a case of when rather than if, given how highly Mourinho rates the player.
Nonetheless, the 2020-21 season may be too early for Skipp, and the outlet reports that Mourinho may consider allowing the teenager to head out on loan for consistent first-team experience.
“Mourinho likes Skipp a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting more game time this season,” said Football London Spurs correspondent Alasdair Gold. “The Spurs boss has been really impressed with him in training and thinks he’s going to be a big player for the future for Tottenham.
“The problem for Skipp is that the midfield at the club is crowded right now. The summer will present a decision for Mourinho over whether to continue to develop him but with only games here and there or allow the 19-year-old to head out on loan to learn elsewhere for a season.”
Skipp is undoubtedly a talented, hard-working player, and Mourinho – a manager well known for his high standards – reportedly being such a big fan and tipping him for a big future is testament to the midfielder’s credentials.
Indeed, Pochettino was also very complimentary of Skipp – in December 2018, the Argentine told the Spurs website: “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.”
As Gold mentioned, however, Tottenham have a glut of central midfielders available, and as such a loan next season may not be a bad idea – after all, Harry Kane had to bide his time before making his breakthrough to great effect.