There are a number of exciting youngsters that are coming out of Tottenham Hotspur’s academy right now, but the one who has probably made the biggest name for himself is 18-year old midfielder Oliver Skipp. Skippy and his teammate Luke Amos were the biggest beneficiaries of England’s deep run in the World Cup and the preseason injury to Victor Wanyama, as both got extensive match time in the International Champions Cup this summer.
Amos went down with a season-ending injury earlier this fall, but Skipp has seen his star rise significantly over the course of the young season, and he also has a big admirer in Totteham’s first team: Christian Eriksen.*
“All of the young players have really shown great character. A lot of them have trained with us a few times, guys like Luke Amos and Anthony Georgiou. But I think the guy who’s the youngest is probably Skippy, who’s really taken the game in his hands and is trying to do his thing. He’s been very good.
“First of all, [he has] courage. He is not scared to get the ball, he is not scared to go forward and he is not scared to tackle. He’s an all-round midfielder. And I think with a lot of training, as he gets older, he will be there.”
That’s high praise from Eriksen, who knows a bit about what it takes to be an elite midfielder in the Premier League. And it’s not just Eriksen who thinks so — Skipp has also caught the eye of Mauricio Pochettino. Skipp was noticeably absent from the U23’s win over Leicester City today, a strong suggestion that he could be included in the match-day 18 for the first team’s match at West Ham tomorrow.
That’s not to say that he will get any match time, but he’s already made the bench for a couple of Premier League matches this season, which is real sign of encouragement. Skipp has yet to make his first team debut but the implication is that it’s only a matter of time before it happens.
From the little I’ve seen of his play (it’s hard to watch U23 matches most of the time unless you’re there in person), Eriksen’s assessment is accurate — he has the potential to become a very good all-around midfielder with a little time, a little more experience, and a lot of hard work. That’d be pretty great, since Spurs could really use a good player with his skill set, and having him come up through the academy in the same way Harry Winks and Harry Kane did would make it even better.