Norwich City transfer rumours: Spurs and England U21 midfielder set for loan switch
PUBLISHED: 14:34 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:34 17 August 2020
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He’s been tipped to be a future Tottenham captain by Jose Mourinho and it seems Norwich City could be the club where England Under-21 midfielder Oliver Skipp will be stepping up his development.
Mourinho rewarded Skipp with a new three-year contract in July - with the option for a further 12 months - and spoke about the 19-year-old’s desire to step up his progression with a loan move, having made 23 appearances for Spurs so far.
Evening Standard reporter Dan Kilpatrick has revealed that the defensive midfielder is heading for Norfolk for his first taste of loan action, having been with Tottenham since he was 13 years old.
Skipp made 11 appearances last season, all of which were as a substitute - including two Champions League matches - apart from two cup games.
The first was a disappointing defeat away to League Two side Colchester United in the League Cup third round, playing the opening 78 minutes of a 0-0 draw which ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat for the Premier League club under former boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The other was against Norwich. The youngster played the full 120 minutes as the Canaries fought back from 1-0 down to equalise through Josip Drmic and then win a shoot-out thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Tim Krul, with Skipp not taking a penalty.
Skipp has been capped regularly at youth levels by England and played alongside City players Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell for the under-21s last season.
After signing his new contract last month, Spurs boss Mourinho told Sky Sports: “In his mind he wants to go on loan. 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.”
Premier League new boys Fulham and German top flight teams Wolfsburg and Arminia Bielefeld, as well as Championship rivals Huddersfield and Reading, were all reportedly interested in Skipp as well.
VERDICT: It’s believed the Canaries are keen on another defensive midfield option, as the continued search for Alex Tettey’s long-term successor continues and with Tom Trybull thought to be surplus to requirements.
Melvin Sitti has been signed from French second tier side Sochaux and Jacob Sorensen from Danish club Esbjerg but both may need time to fulfil the potential City see in them.
Louis Thompson has also returned from a loan at MK Dons but it remains to be seen whether he can still meet Championship standards after his injury misfortunes.
Skipp is tenacious and good in possession so would seem to be the type of player who could fit Daniel Farke’s style but is still young and has plenty to prove - with Norwich scarred by loan disappointments in recent years.
One of those was from Spurs, with creative midfielder Marcus Edwards barely featuring during the second half of 2017-18. Last season Patrick Roberts (Man City), Ibrahim Amadou (Sevilla) and Ondrej Duda (Hertha Berlin) all struggled to make an impact in the Premier League.
Felix Passlack was also on the fringes while on loan from Borussia Dortmund during the Championship title-winning season of 2018-19, although the experience of Jordan Rhodes (Sheff Weds) did prove very worthwhile.
Prior to that season, goalkeeper Angus Gunn (Man City) was a successful loanee and Harrison Reed (Southampton) had some good games, while fellow midfielder Moritz Leitner had initially arrived on loan from Augsburg before signing permanently.
The Skipp link follows on from reported interest in Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu, a Wales international who can play in defensive midfield or central defence, although Fulham moved to the front of the queue for his services after their play-off final victory.