Pochettino backs midfield starlet to have big future at Spurs

Oliver Skipp only enjoyed a brief cameo against Southampton, but Mauricio Pochettino is a firm believer in his ability to have a big career at Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino has made a real habit of developing young players during his time at Tottenham.

It appears that Oliver Skipp is set to be the next young English midfielder to benefit from the Argentine manager’s tutelage. Pochettino is expecting big things from the 18-year-old starlet.

Skipp’s only made two Premier League cameos to date, but that didn’t stop his manager from signing his praises after Spurs’ 3-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday.

Pochettino specifically articulated his belief that Skipp will become a “great player” at Tottenham in his post match press conference.

Of course, Pochettino also said that Skipp will need some time before he’s able to ascend to that level. In particular, his body needs time to grow and develop into a frame that can handle the rigors of being a Premier League midfielder.

Until that happens, Skipp is probably best used as a Cup player and late game substitute against certain opponents.

That doesn’t mean his potential isn’t really significant. He already shows a strong aptitude for moving the ball around the centre of the pitch.

Skipp isn’t identical to Harry Winks in that regard, but there are certain similarities. In truth, Skipp may be more advanced than Winks was at his age.

That’s largely due to his competence on the defensive end of the pitch. Skipp isn’t a big player, but he’s not afraid to stick his nose in and make challenges when necessary. That’s absolutely one of the qualities that endears him to Pochettino. It’s well documented that Tottenham’s manager likes to have a “naughty” player or two in his squad at all times.

The immediate challenge for Skipp will be to play well enough to convince Spurs to let go of Mousa Dembele without signing a like for like replacement.

That’s going to be an uphill battle for the baby-faced Englishman. He’ll need to wow Pochettino in training to keep his club out of the market for a midfielder in January.

Even so, Skipp has a real chance to be the next Tottenham Academy starlet to break through and impact the first team.

There’s a long way for him to go on that journey, but the one man he needs to believe in him is already on his side. Pochettino’s kind words about Skipp auger well for his future in North London.