PROFILE: Spurs ‘future captain’ wants to embrace new experiences with City
- Credit: Norwich City FC
New Norwich City signing Oliver Skipp has plenty of pedigree - his journey through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur has seen him coached by some of the world’s best.
The 19-year-old is highly regarded in North London, and his temporary spell with Daniel Farke’s squad will be used to expose him to the rigours of senior football in order to aid his development.
As a youngster, he grew up inspired by Scott Parker and Luka Modric but the midfielder is hoping to construct his own story at Tottenham.
After all, it is a club he’s been with since the age of 13.
A loan move to City is another recognition of the positive reputation the Canaries are building in regard to nurturing and developing young talent.
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Underpinning this loan is the fact that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho didn’t want it to happen, such is the value he places upon Skipp’s shoulders.
“I think he’s genuinely Tottenham’s future. 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,” Mourinho explained prior to the end of last season.
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“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.”
Skipp is an intelligent young man. He impressed at school and opted to move in with a host family close to Spurs’ training ground in order to gain new experiences. He waltzed through his A-Levels, studying history and economics. Playing football in the morning and essay writing in the afternoon.
He also holds a deep-rooted love for most sports, especially cricket and tennis.
Despite his articulate background, Skipp is a warrior on the pitch. Someone who enjoys tackling and winning back possession.
His first Premier League start came in December 2018 in Spurs’ 1-0 win over Burnley.
Then boss Mauricio Pochettino dedicated a large chunk of his post-match press conference lauding City’s new loanee, suggesting his performance was beyond his years.
“Fantastic, fantastic. I think he played like a 30-year-old man,” Pochettino told TalkSport.
“He was so relaxed, trying to play forward and trying to give the team what the team needs, plenty of energy, full energy, I am so proud of him.
“I think everyone is proud of him. He is only 18 years old and I think it was fantastic.
“Now I think it is going to be easy for him because always the debut you are nervous.”
Prior to his move to Carrow Road, Skipp is said to have completed some in-depth research into the clubs interested in acquiring his services for the season to choose one where he would flourish the most.
He eventually decided that City was the place to continue his development - with the aim of building up some scar tissue to serve him well as he seeks to progress with Tottenham.
Skipp has transitioned from a youth player into someone who is a popular and well respected member of Spurs’ first-team dressing room.
That experience of walking into a senior dressing room containing several high-profile player has matured Skipp further.
“You grow up and think you have to stand up for yourself more,” he explains. “Especially going into the first-team dressing room. Of course, you have to remain yourself but you can’t be too quiet.” Skipp told The Athletic last year.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the most vocal off the pitch — even on it. But I feel like if I say something it will be concise and to the point rather than maybe just speaking for the sake of it.
“So I think if I can do that then that will help my team-mates, especially if I’m playing holding midfield and can see most of the game.
“I think if you can give concise information, that’s better.”
Skipp see’s himself as a number six, and is determined to establish himself at Spurs and avoid the struggles suffered by Edwards and Kyle Walker-Peters.
The midfielder is also understood to have taken inspiration from Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham’s success in the Championship.
Now he will be hoping to have success with City and improve his chances of establishing himself with Tottenham Hotspur.