Mauricio Pochettino has a proven track record of giving young footballers the opportunity to prove they can play at the highest level if they are willing to show that they have the hunger and work rate in training.
One of the latest players from the Tottenham Hotspur academy conveyor belt is Oliver Skipp and the 18-year-old has relished the opportunity to make the step up.
Following last summer’s World Cup, Spurs were unable to call upon a number of established first team players for their pre-season tour of the USA which allowed the likes of Skipp and Luke Amos to show the manager what they are capable of.
Skipp’s efforts were rewarded with his Premier League debut against Southampton in early December and has gone on to make eleven further appearances in all competitions.
He admits that he has enjoyed the experience of being around the first team set up and has been impressed by how the Spurs stars have helped him to settle in and also by their winning mentality which has no doubt been instilled into them by Pochettino.
Skipp told the official Spurs site: “It’s been a great experience for me this year, being in and around the first team,”
“Whether it’s getting minutes on the pitch or just travelling with the squad, you can take so much on board and learn, just by being around such quality players.
“One thing you notice is that the results mean so much to people. You can see how everyone reacts in the changing room – seeing how long they stay disappointed for if we’ve lost before moving on to the next game is always interesting.
“On a personal level, the players are all really nice as well. You take bits of information from them, you talk to them as friends and engage with their personalities, so that’s been good this year. They’re very open, they even respect what I might think but obviously I know that they’ve been there at the very top level and naturally you respect what they do and say. For a young player like me, you can listen to their advice and it will help you, without doubt.”
Skipp could certainly benefit from a loan spell at a Championship club next season to further his footballing education, with Spurs expected to recruit in the middle of midfield ahead of the new campaign he could find his opportunities to become even more limited.
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