Antonio Conte has admitted that Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga have a special connection with Tottenham and are loving playing for the first-team.
Skipp has been a revelation since returning from his successful loan spell at Norwich City last season having played an influential role in helping the Canaries to return to the Premier League.
The midfielder was one of the standout performers under Nuno Espirito Santo and his game has gone up another notch since Conte arrived at the club.
He has quickly become a mainstay in the Italian’s starting lineup and has repaid the manager’s faith with consistent displays in the middle of the park.
Apart from his tenacity and defensive awareness, the 21-year-old has also demonstrated his technical ability on the ball over recent weeks.
Tanganga, another Spurs academy graduate, was also handed a start in Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday and the defender hardly put a foot wrong.
Conte admitted that both players have a ‘sense of belonging’ at the North London club, having come through the ranks of the youth system.
When asked about Skipp’s progress, the 52-year-old told Football.London: “Yeah, but today in our starting XI there were two young players. Two very young players, Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga.
“Don’t forget that I think he played a really good game as the third central defender on the left. I think he made a great performance and I’m happy. I’m happy for him because Japhet is a player that has a great sense of belonging.
“It’s the same for Oliver. For Skipp, he’s playing with me regularly no? In every game, he’s playing and he’s good. He’s making big improvements and I think that he could become one, a very strong midfielder, a really good midfielder.
“He has to continue to work. We are talking about a humble boy, a humble player. Oliver feels a lot of sense of belonging to play for Tottenham. For Japhet, for Oliver, it’s a dream. During the game, you can see this.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I am surprised that Tanganga has not had more game time at right-centre-back following Romero’s injury as the position is a natural fit for the 22-year-old. However, Sanchez has been quite impressive over recent weeks and deserves to keep his place in the starting eleven.
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