Tottenham Hotspur just secured a player for its future. The club announced today that academy graduate and defensive midfielder Oliver Skipp has signed a new contract at the club that will keep him a Tottenham Hotspur player through the end of the 2024 season.
We haven’t seen Skipp play a whole lot.The 19-year old DM has been training with the first team for much of the season and has had cameo appearances in the Champions League and Premier League, tallying a total of 288 minutes with the first team. Regardless of the players ahead of him, Mauricio Pochettino thought highly of Skipp, and that regard has carried over into Jose Mourinho’s tenure as well, with Mou calling Skipp a “future Tottenham captain” in a press release this morning and hinting that he could go out on loan next season for first team experience.
“I’m really happy. Everybody in the club is, his team-mates are, I am and Skippy is or he wouldn’t sign the contract. I think he’s genuinely Tottenham’s future. He’s one of these players by human quality, by personality, he is one of these kids that I have no doubt he will be an important player for Tottenham.
“Sometimes coaches are selfish and I told him that. I never told him I want him to go on loan, I always told him I wanted him to stay here, because that’s the selfish perspective of a coach who wants the best possible squad. In his mind he wants to go on loan, six months, the whole season. He feels that he needs that, I also feel that would be good for his evolution, so maybe that is the direction we go.
“I think he can be more than a player, he can be a future captain here. Hugo, Harry. I see this kid being one day a future captain here by his character, by his personality.
“I feel really happy that he signed.”
Skipp is the latest in a string of Tottenham academy graduates who have progressed into Spurs’ first team, stretching back to Nabil Bentaleb, but also including Ryan Mason and Harry Winks. It’s hard to get a sense of Skippy’s potential since we haven’t seen him much, but the coaching staff loves him so we may just have to take this on faith for now. Charlie Eccleshare of The Athletic (£) did a interview with him back in November that cast him in a very favorable light.
I’m just going to throw this out here without a whole lot of evidence to back it up — Tottenham have been looking for a defensive midfielder to anchor the center of the pitch ever since Victor Wanyama started to decline a few years ago. What if Spurs have been developing that DM in their academy this whole time? We’ll have to wait and see — 19 is pretty young, and heading out on loan next season for additional experience might be exactly what Skipp needs to really cement a future place in Tottenham’s first team.
Either way, this is a good thing for Skippy. Hopefully he’s able to turn this show of faith into some actual decent minutes in the future.