Antonio Conte has lavished praise on Oliver Skipp for his battling display in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Brentford.

Skipp came back into the starting eleven after missing the last Premier League game against Leeds due to suspension.

Along with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the middle of the park, the 21-year-old helped to mop up impressively in front of the Spurs backline and restricted Brentford from creating too many opportunities. 

The youngster was also quite tidy in possession of the ball and demonstrated again with that performance why he has won Conte’s trust ahead of the likes of Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele. 

Conte praised the passion and desire with which the Spurs academy graduate played but insisted he can help the youngster get even better, particularly in possession of the ball.

When asked about Skipp’s display, the Tottenham boss told Football.London: “Skippy played a really good game in the same way with the other teammates. I think this player is very young. He has really a lot of space for improvement. 

“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-years-old, who deserves to play.

“Today he played well. I think that I can improve him a lot in possession and technically, to look before the play that they have to do. 

“We’re talking about an important prospect and I’m very happy for him, but now he has to continue in this way.”

The 52-year-old also stated that Skipp has all the attributes to evolve into a top midfielder if he keeps his head down and continues working hard. 

When asked if the midfielder played a slightly more advanced role than usual, Conte responded: “For sure and he has to improve with the ball, no? In possession.

“This player, without the ball, he works very, very hard. To have him in the midfield together with Hobby is very, very important.

“For sure, the part that he has to improve is with the ball but in one month I have seen a lot of improvement about Skippy. He’s a player who wants to improve.

“I think that 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 continue to work. 

“He has this will, this desire to become an important player for Tottenham and for the present and for the future.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While Skipp’s defensive abilities and his tenacity are clear for all to see, it is perhaps the youngster’s attitude that gives him an edge over others. He seems hungry to learn and get better, which is why I believe Conte has taken a real liking to him.

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