Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for Oliver Skipp after the versatile Tottenham youngster made his Premier League debut against Southampton on Wednesday. Spurs enjoyed a 3-1 win at Wembley which took them third in the table and Pochettino lauded the 18-year-old’s contribution, tipping Skipp for a bright future.
The defensive-midfielder made his first-team debut in the EFL Cup against West Ham United on October 31, but Wednesday’s outing was an even bigger moment. Speaking to Football.London, Pochettino said: “With Oliver it’s only about time. If he is capable of working how he’s working and doing in the future the energy and he’s behaving now, I think his future will be bright.
“We were thinking in the last few months to give him the opportunity to play in the Premier League but for different things it wasn’t possible. I think he’s a player that we believe a lot in and I hope that he continues growing. For sure, he will be, I hope and wish, a great player for this club.”
Skipp, who had been in the matchday squad for October’s 1-0 win over Cardiff City and November’s 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, replaced Kieran Trippier against the Saints after the right-back picked up a groin injury. He was given only three minutes on the pitch but could be handed more opportunities as the season progresses, potentially in the FA Cup third round in January.
For the u23s, Skipp has operated as a defensive-midfielder, central-midfielder and attacking-midfielder, making five appearances in the Premier League 2 this season. He’s also featured in the EFL Trophy and UEFA Youth League and has clearly been rewarded for his hard work in the reserve side. The future may indeed be bright for the teenager.