Tottenham have a real dime in their ranks in the form of Oliver Skipp.
This is the perspective of former Norwich striker Dean Ashton, who witnessed the young championship boss as Daniel Farke’s runaway side look set to bounce back in the Premier League.
Skipp, 20, has joined the Canaries on loan for a season of Spurs last summer and impressed in midfield as they lead the league by seven points after 33 games.
In fact, the youngster’s form has been so good that it was reported that Spurs even considered recalling him in January to bolster their own ambitions.
And talkSPORT co-host Ashton, who scored 17 goals in 44 Premier League appearances for Norwich from 2005 to 2006, admitted that Skipp’s imperious parades This is exactly what his former team lacked last season when they were relegated from the top flight.
“It’s a job, probably alongside a center-back, that Norwich needed and lacked in the Premier League,” Ashton said. talkSPORT.com of the importance of Skipp for the Canaries.
“They haven’t fixed that problem and that’s a big reason they’ve been relegated – especially with the way they play and with the offense they have.
“They need this player who is going to hammer this midfielder and provide the cover in front of the full four and he’s been the perfect player to do it.
“It’s great to see his improvement because he has really improved over the season, he has gained confidence in himself.”
Skipp is naturally a box-to-box midfielder, but it’s his ability to break through opposition attacks that allows Norwich to thrive in his possession-based system and that’s what attracted the most Ashton’s attention.
“It’s easy to say he’s versatile because he’s going forward, but his greatest attribute is that he can sense danger, has great position awareness and is disciplined in that position,” he added.
“It’s easy to get carried away by the way Norwich plays and joins, and he does it when he needs to, but it’s more the understanding of that position and the discipline and perception of danger that is so important. for Norwich, who likes to keep the ball to allow their full-backs to press forward.
“It’s so important that their midfielder is disciplined and can sense the danger of filling the void – and he did it brilliantly.”
Skipp has played so well for the Canaries at the top of the table that Spurs fans are eager to see him play in the first team next season.
And Ashton is unsure whether Mourinho will try his luck with the 20-year-old given the good form of his current midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who joined for £ 15million from Southampton last summer.
“That’s going to be the big question, will José Mourinho see him as an integral part of his team?” Ashton continued.
“Hojbjerg has had a really good season to play in this midfielder role so it’s really a question of himself, how much does he want to return to Spurs and maybe be a full player or there could be an opportunity where Norwich or another club look to sign him on a permanent basis.
“It’s a huge decision for him and Tottenham, but Tottenham as a club are very different and the expectations are different.
“As long as he continues to give the performances he has, he will ask Spurs a big question as to whether they give him a chance.
“He’s now at the stage where he can’t sit on the bench and play a League Cup game or a Europa League game.”
Ashton, however, thinks Mourinho would be “foolish” not to at least give Skipp a chance to shine early next season.
He added: “The championship is notoriously tough and we’ve seen people shine this season when they take the plunge. [to the Premier League].
“In order for him to reach the levels he has at the top of the league, I think Tottenham would be stupid to allow him to leave or send him on loan. He has played very well and deserves the opportunity to be offered this chance at the start of next season.
Skipp is next in action live on talkSPORT 2, when Norwich hosts Brentford at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday March 3
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