Oliver Skipp’s positive fitness update with midfielder excited about Antonio Conte’s pre-season

Oliver Skipp will be ready to kick off Antonio Conte’s first day of pre-season and a great campaign for Tottenham. football.london understands

The talented 21-year-old enjoyed a breakout season last time out in the Premier League under Nuno Espirito Santo first and then Conte, earning praise from all corners before a pelvic problem frustratingly ended his campaign three months earlier. The only person as frustrated as Skipp was Conte, who was publicly infuriated with Tottenham’s medical department over slow progress and setbacks with someone he viewed as an important young player, with an injury he had been playing with since October 2019. last year.

After an unsuccessful injection to stop the pain, the problem was finally fixed in April with a visit to a specialist in the US, as minor surgery followed by a recovery period. Skipp’s recovery from then on was quick and he was running outdoors and working with a ball in the final weeks of the season in training camps.

READ MORE: The intense and fascinating relationship between Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Antonio Conte

football.london he understands the England Under-21 midfielder is now in fine form, keen to play and available to start work for Conte’s first day of pre-season in less than a month. The Spurs head coach has high hopes for Skipp, having fallen in love with him quickly after arriving at the club in November, acknowledging his tactical intelligence, fitness level and technique, and believes he can turn him into a midfielder. first level.

“This player is very young. He really has a lot of room to improve,” Conte said. football.london in December after Skipp’s two consecutive man-of-the-match displays. “He played with a lot of intensity, a lot of passion, with his heart, with his soul. I think it was important because, for me, he doesn’t care if he’s only 21 years old and deserves to play.”

“Today he played well. I think I can improve him a lot in possession and technically, to look at the play they have to make first. We are talking about an important prospect and I am very happy for him, but now he has to continue like this. He has to improve with the ball, right? In possession. This player, without the ball, works very, very hard. Having him in midfield alongside Hojbjerg is very, very important.

“Surely the part that has to improve is with the ball but in a month I have seen a lot of improvement in Skippy. He is a player who wants to improve. I believe that the present and the future depend on him. he wants to become a top midfielder. He could become a top midfielder, but he has to keep working. He has this will, this desire to become an important player for Tottenham and for the present and the future.”

Skipp had returned from a championship-winning season on loan at Norwich a more complete and confident player. It is understood it was a loan that former Spurs manager Jose Mourinho, who has branded the midfielder as Tottenham’s future captain, was not too keen on as he wanted the youngster to remain a cover within his team.

However, the loan move was eventually agreed and worked perfectly giving Skipp weekly starts under Daniel Farke and when he returned last pre-season, Mourinho’s successor Espirito Santo was instantly impressed. Skipp started most of his games up front and then, under Conte, the central midfielder started seven of the nine Premier League games for which he was available.

The Spurs spent much of the season trying to tie Skipp to a new deal and that finally came with an excellent new five-year deal signed in late April, marking the rise he had made up the club ladder.

Meanwhile, the midfielder continued to learn despite his injury, attending Conte’s tactical meetings with the team and watching training to absorb Conte’s information and concepts. In turn, Conte was impressed by Skipp’s attitude toward learning and his ability to incorporate new information.

There is much more to come from the 21-year-old and Conte believes that with the Premier League and Champions League on the calendar next season, Skipp will continue to improve and be a vital player in the team.

“I’m very happy for Skippy because not only is he a good player, we’re talking about a fantastic guy,” he said. football.london about the midfielder’s new contract towards the end of the season. “Unfortunately he has had that problem with his injury because at the moment he is not available. I know his frustration.

“I think this new contract shows him that we trust him a lot. It will be very important for the present and for the future of Tottenham. I am delighted for him.”

There is even optimism within Spurs that if Skipp can display the levels expected of him not only in the Premier League but also in the Champions League in the coming months, the England U21 star could emerge as a late contender to make it. with a place. the plane with Gareth Southgate’s first team for the winter World Cup in Qatar.

The midfield battle will be fierce at Tottenham with Rodrigo Bentancur quickly adapting to the English game after his January transfer from Juventus. The three-time Serie A title winner and Uruguayan international has yet to play alongside Skipp due to the timing of the younger midfielder’s injury.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will remain one of Conte’s leaders in the team, but Harry Winks will leave this summer in search of regular football. It is expected that another central midfielder will be hired to replace him, but there is a belief that he will be a more forward-thinking incoming central player rather than another anchor.

There is also 19-year-old midfielder Pape Matar Sarr, who will finally arrive at the club after a loan spell at Metz following his signing last summer. The Senegalese international will be closely scrutinized this summer before Conte decides if the youngster needs another loan.

For Skipp, his future is very much at Spurs and he will tackle what will be a grueling first pre-season with Conte in top form, excited and unafraid of what lies ahead.

“I feel like there’s so much more [to come from me] and the next level I can get to and I really want to show it when I get back,” Skipp said after writing his new contract. I think pre-season will be huge for me again to make sure I’m 100% good for the start of next season and moving forward.”

Skipp has consistently improved in every year of his career so far and Tottenham have no doubt it will happen again on the biggest stages next season.

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