Oliver Skipp: The diligent 16 year old midfielder who has shone for our under 18’s during this season:
“Oliver Skipp, as well, showed guile and quality in possession but also a real desire and toughness out of possession.“ (John McDermott, speaking after Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa.)
16 year old Spurs midfielder Oliver Skipp is a player who has shone for our under 18’s during the current campaign. He may still be a schoolboy but that hasn’t stopped the highly rated defensive midfielder from making the step up to John McDermott’s side. Skipp has been capped as high up as an under 17 international for England, the 16 year old is a brilliant young player who I have watched throughout the season. Skipp, who primarily operates as a deep lying defensive midfielder but is also adept at playing at centre half, has glowed with quality on the pitch. He was propelled up to last seasons under 16 side whilst still an under 15, in addition he was also a key member of England’s under 16 side during the same season. The 16 year old is a player in the mould of Michael Carrick, a technician with in the centre of the park, Skipp’s intelligence and anticipation of the game is quite special, so too is his ability to pick out a tremendous pass. In fact, if you were to watch Skipp play for our under 18’s you’d think he was a second year scholar, such is his maturity and impressive decision making on the ball. He is a tidy and efficient player, he’s a bit like Harry Winks in some ways, he doesn’t over complicate anything with a flashy bit of skill or an unnecessary trick, he deals with danger like Winks in that respect. Skipp shows guile in his style of play, you can tell just by watching him play that he has a real footballing brain.
Not once have I seen Skipp have a bad game this season whether it be for our under 18, 19’s or under 23’s for who he made his debut for earlier in the year. He’s not as commanding in the midfield in the same way that under 18 captain George Marsh is, but he is a calming presence with in the team, he never overplays a situation. Watching Skipp play is exactly like watching a young Michael Carrick, everything from his awareness to his decisive interceptions remind me of the Manchester United star. In addition, his movement off the ball is also a key quality of his game, the youngster never shies away from a challenge, he is a team player who is never selfish on the ball, his got a tremendous attitude and work ethic on the pitch. I have seen Skipp play many times this season and I predict great things for him during his career with Spurs, he has all the hallmarks of a top defensive midfielder who I believe will continue to flourish at youth level. Next season Skipp will sign a two year scholarship with Spurs and he will be one of the under 18’s most experienced players. Whilst I’m expecting him to play the majority of the season for the under 18’s, I have a feeling that he’ll be integrated into the under 23’s squad by the midpoint of the season. I predict a great future for Skipp and feel that he will have a long and successful career for Spurs. COYS
Some footage of Skipp in action for England under 16’s in 2016: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_BBcjHlngMs