August 20, 2022

Oliver Skipp will be ready to kick off for the first day of Antonio Conte’s pre-season and a big campaign for Tottenham, understand.

The talented 21-year-old had a real breakthrough last time out in the Premier League under Nuno Espirito Santo and then Conte, earning praise from all corners before a pelvic problem frustratingly ended his campaign three months earlier. . The only person as frustrated as Skipp was Conte who publicly raged at Tottenham’s medical department for slow progress and setbacks with someone he considered an important young player, due to an injury he suffered with. had been playing since October of last year.

After an injection failed to stop the pain, the problem was finally resolved in April with a visit to a specialist in the US, as minor surgery was undertaken, followed by a recovery period. Skipp’s recovery from that point on was quick and he was running outside and working with a ball in the final weeks of the season at the training grounds.

READ MORE: The intense and fascinating relationship of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with Antonio Conte understands the England Under-21 midfielder is now fit, eager to go and available to embark on matchday one of Conte’s pre-season in less than a month. The Spurs head coach has high hopes for Skipp, having shone fast after joining the club in November, acknowledging his tactical intelligence, fitness level and technique and he believes he can turn him around in a high-level midfield.

“This player is very young. He really has a lot of room to improve,” Conte said. in December after the man of the match showed up consecutively from Skipp. “He played with great intensity, great passion, with heart, with soul. I think it was important because, for me, he doesn’t care if he’s only 21, who deserves to play.

“Today he played well. I think I can improve him a lot in possession and technically, to look ahead of the game they have to make. We’re talking about an important prospect and I’m very happy for him, but now he has to keep it that way. He has to improve with the ball, right? In possession of the ball. This player, without the ball, he works very, very hard. Having him in midfield with Hojbjerg is very, Very important.

“Of course the part he needs to improve is with the ball but in a month I’ve seen a lot of improvements on Skippy. He’s a player who wants to improve. I think the present and the future depends on him. If he wants to become a top midfielder. He could become a top midfielder, but he has to keep working. He has this will, this desire to become an important player for Tottenham and for now and for the future.”

Skipp had returned from a Championship-winning season on loan to Norwich a more complete and confident player. It’s a loan that former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, who labeled the midfielder as Tottenham’s future captain, wouldn’t have been too keen on because he wanted the youngster to stay as a cover within the squad. his team.

However, the loan move was eventually agreed and worked out perfectly giving Skipp week after week under Daniel Farke and when he returned last pre-season Mourinho’s successor Espirito Santo was instantly impressed. . Skipp started the bulk of his games at the helm, and then under Conte the central midfielder started seven of the nine Premier League games he was available for.

Spurs spent much of the season trying to tie Skipp down to a new contract and it finally came to pass with a bumper new five-year deal signed at the end of April which represented the climb he had made up the ladder of the game. club.

All the while, the midfielder continued to learn despite his injury, attending Conte’s tactical meetings with the team and observing training to soak up the information Conte imparted and his concepts. In turn, Conte was impressed with Skipp’s attitude towards learning and his ability to integrate this new information.

There is plenty more to come from the 21-year-old and Conte believes that with Premier League and Champions League football on the agenda next season, Skipp will continue to improve and be a vital player in the club. crew.

“I’m very happy for Skippy because he’s not just a good player, we’re talking about a fantastic guy,” he said. on the midfielder’s new contract towards the end of the season. “Unfortunately he had this problem with his injury because at the moment he is not available. I know his frustration.

“I think this new contract shows him that we trust him a lot. He will be very important for the present and for the future of Tottenham. I am delighted for him.”

There is even optimism within Spurs that if Skipp can show the levels they expect of him not only in the Premier League but also in the Champions League in the coming months, the England Under-21 star could become a late candidate to take a seat on the plane with Gareth Southgate’s senior squad for the Winter World Cup in Qatar.

The battle in midfield is expected to be fierce at Tottenham, with Rodrigo Bentancur adapting quickly to the English game after leaving Juventus in January. The three-time Serie A title winner and Uruguay international is yet to feature alongside Skipp due to the timing of the young midfielder’s injury.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will continue to be one of Conte’s leaders in the team, but Harry Winks is expected to leave this summer in search of regular football. Another central midfielder is expected to be signed to replace him, but it is believed to be a more forward-looking central player coming in rather than another anchor man.

There is also 19-year-old midfielder Pape Matar Sarr, who will finally arrive at the club after a season-long loan at Metz following his signing last summer. The Senegal international will be looked at closely this summer before Conte decides whether the youngster needs another loan.

For Skipp, his future really is at Spurs and he will approach what will be a grueling first pre-season under Conte fully fit, fired up and fearless of what lies ahead.

“I feel like there’s a lot more [to come from me] and the next level that I can get to and I’m really looking forward to showing it when I get back,” Skipp said after signing his new contract. “I think pre-season will be huge again for me to make sure that I’m 100% fair for the start of next season and to really step up our game.”

Skipp has steadily improved in every year of his career so far and Tottenham have no doubt that will be repeated on the biggest stages next season.