Oliver Skipp looks to be the next homegrown midfielder to make it into Tottenham Hotspur’s first team, by all accounts. Skippy has been down the pecking order a bit, but at age 19 you’d expect that a bit, and he hasn’t looked completely outmatched in the few times he’s made the pitch under Jose Mourinho.
Where he really comes into his own is at the underage level, where he now has three caps for Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21 squad. The most recent match was a 2-1 loss at Netherlands U21 this past November, and a video snippet has recently hit the internet of the Dutch team giving a little bit of grudging respect (and smack talk) to our our own little Skippy. Check it out.
Dutch Youth Team on Skipp:— ً (@Bergwijnn) March 21, 2020
“That Skipp guy is an annoying guy”
“He is a good footballer”
“Yeah, really good footballer”
“Very good in controlling the play”
“He keeps turning like Frenkie (De Jong)”
“Very annoying, i gave him a little push in the game” pic.twitter.com/tcmyrrBdid
So it’s probably too early to turn on the hype machine and we probably shouldn’t extrapolate much from changing room talk said by a bunch of teenage Dutch kids, but “turns like Frenkie” sounds pretty good to my ears, doesn’t it? The comments also make it sound like Skippy’s a right pain in the ass on the pitch, and I’m willing to bet that he’s annoying as much for the quality of his play as any dark arts or quiet shithousery he might do while he’s out there.
It’s a small thing, really. U21 dominance doesn’t always turn into competency at the Premier League level — just look at Josh Onomah for that. But I always love reading about stuff like this. I don’t know if Skippy’s going to turn into a player who will be a major contributor for Spurs, but it certainly sounds like he’s got the tools in the toolbox.