Ryan Mason has said that he believes Oliver Skipp is ready to make a big impact in the Tottenham first-team next season.
Skipp has come of age during his loan spell at Norwich this season and his consistent displays at the base of the Canaries midfield even saw him make Sky Sports’ Championship Team of the Season.
Mason, who knows first-hand the challenges of coming through the youth set up and breaking into the first-team, believes that the 20-year-old has all the attributes to succeed at the club.
The interim Tottenham boss told Football.London: “My opinion may be different to many but I think Oliver Skipp is an incredible talent and one of the most professional guys I have come across in the academy.
“He has had a fantastic season so I’m sure those conversations will be had over the summer.
“I think Skippy is ready personally, but with these decisions it depends who the manager is and where the club want to go with him.”
Mason, who was the Head of Youth Development at the club before being temporarily handed the first-team reigns after Jose Mourinho’s sacking, believes that the Spurs academy will continue producing players for the first-team in the years to come.
He added: “Our track record at Tottenham is excellent. I had a lot of loans, Harry [Kane] had a lot of loans, Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker, we all went on to play for England and represent Tottenham in the Premier League.
“The development at this club has been one of the best in the last 10 years. Skippy knows that as well. We have some fantastic younger talent as well.
“The last 10 years have been excellent and I see no reason why the next five will be any different.”
One youngster Mourinho seemed to be particularly fond of was Dane Scarlett, with the former Spurs boss raving about the striker and even comparing him to Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.
However, Mason insisted that the likes of Scarlett are too young to be looking too far ahead.
The 29-year-old said: “I don’t want to talk about 16 and 17-year-olds who have never played a League game in their career and say, ‘they’re going to achieve this’.
“That’s the wrong message from me. The message needs to be to work hard, to want to learn, to want to develop.
“This football club has a reputation and we take pride in our academy players coming through the system. We believe there’s some [top talents], of course, but there’s many factors in careers.
“I didn’t make my debut until I was 23, so there’s no timescale. There’s no golden ticket that says you’re going to be in the first team next year.
“It’s about working, competing and representing the club in the way we expect and hopefully your career will then take shape but I don’t think it’s right to say a 16-year-old is going to be playing in the Premier League next season.
“Many things can happen in football. I’ve experienced that, I’ve seen it. The generation I came through had to experience a lot. We had loans, different exposures and we all made our debuts for Tottenham at different times.
“The most important thing is to be ready every day to work, but we have [talented] players, for sure.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While one cannot accuse Mourinho of not giving opportunities to youngsters, it did feel on occasions like the former Spurs boss was doing so simply as a PR move. His comments about Scarlett, in particular, came across as wanting to show to the club’s hierarchy that he does have an eye on the future.
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