Opinion: Spurs’ best piece of transfer business this season – Not a new signing

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Oliver Skipp
Rob Newell - CameraSport / Contributor

The 2020 summer transfer window was relatively busy for Tottenham Hotspur compared to previous years as seven new faces were brought in by Jose Mourinho.

Pierre-Emlie Hojbjerg signing at the time was argued to be the best business done by Spurs, but none could imagine the impact Hojbjerg would have on the heart of the club’s midfield.

Although the Danish international has been a revolution, especially for the transfer fee paid, I believe the temporary outgoing of Oliver Skipp has shown to be the best bit of business conducted by Mourinho and Daniel Levy.

Oliver Skipp season so far –

The England U21 international left Spurs to join Norwich City on a season-long loan in July 2020 in search of first-team minutes after being restricted to 11 appearances (298 minutes) in the 2019/20 campaign (Transfermarkt).

Skipp has since featured in every single Championship fixture to date (29 games) for Norwich City, starting them all and thriving in a defensive role (Transfermarkt).

He has become an influential figure in Norwich’s midfield, doing plenty of the dirty work. As per WhoScored, Skipp has completed 2.1 tackles per game and 1.1 interceptions per game so far in the Championship season.

He is also developing a similar style that we have seen from Hojbjerg in a Spurs shirt, using his power and speed to bring Spurs forward.

Skipp has shown on numerous occasions in a Norwich City colours that he isn’t afraid to burst forward to get out of tricky situations and get the ball moving forward.

The 20-year-old is also contributing further up the pitch as seen by his average 0.8 key passes per game (WhoScored).

That might not seem like an extensive amount when you compare to the likes of Emil Buendia, or Tanguy Ndombele at Spurs, but shows that Skipp can be approached as a box-to-box midfielder.

His abilities have seen the Norwich City supporters fall in love with the Spurs youngster, and so have the players, including captain Grant Hanley who branded Skipp as ‘top quality’.

He told the Eastern Daily Press“Skippy’s got experience beyond his years really, he looks like he’s played at the top level for 10 or 15 years, it’s hard to think that he’s still so young.

“I know he gets a lot of credit but then he probably doesn’t get enough sometimes, because he does all the stuff that you love as a centre-half.”

Beneficial for Spurs and Mourinho –

Spurs supporters will not only be pleased to see Skipp’s enormous rise in senior football, but also Levy who could save a few pennies in the summer.

His loan move has added further evidence of why keeping youngsters in, and around, the first-team will stall their career, not improve it.

Harry Winks, who is now a prominent member of Spurs senior squad, is just one example of this. The England international spent his teenage years in and out of the Spurs senior squad, not playing regularly until the age of 22.

While Winks is now an England international, he undoubtedly lacked senior experience in his youth career. 

Despite being five years younger than Winks, Skipp is arguably ahead in career development to Winks.

He has completed 2534 minutes this season, compared to the current Spurs midfielder who only completed 17 minutes of senior football by the age of 20 (Transfermarkt).

The 20-year-old has shown that he is physically capable of dealing with men’s football and can partner alongside Hojbjerg next season to form a solid partnership.

Plus, it leaves Mourinho the opportunity to spend more money on areas that are in desperate need, including a centre-back and creative midfielder.

That’s why Skipp’s loan to Norwich City has been Spurs’ best bit of transfer business this season.

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