Player watch: Oliver Skipp

Shadydan

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Don't really see it with this kid, he looks ok but meh, he's neat and tidy but that is all you can really say. I hope we don't turn into 2019 United, putting our faith in a load of academy kids who clearly aren't good enough.
You didn't 'see it' with Winks. I don't think you know what you're looking for :D

If Poch 'sees it' then that's good enough for me.
 

Primativ

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You didn't 'see it' with Winks. I don't think you know what you're looking for :D

If Poch 'sees it' then that's good enough for me.
Debatable whether Poch actually sees it with Skipp or is simply forced to play him due to a lack of squad strength at CM. Dier was at CB, Wanyama is hardly fit and was already on the pitch. Winks injured.

I think it's the latter. If Poch gets the required players in he wants and needs, Skipp rightly won't be anywhere near the first team next season.

I know fans love the idea of academy kids coming through, but the majority of them just aren't good enough.

Winks still has to prove his consistency, I wouldn't say he's made himself first choice CM either. He's put in isolated very good performances in a handful of games, but he's really struggled to play a consistent stretch of games at a high level.

If I was Poch I'd be looking at Sissoko and one other to come in to play as first choice. Winks as squad rotation (plus he's unreliable fitness wise). Someone like an N'Dombele would be ideal but sadly unlikely.
 

Shadydan

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Debatable whether Poch actually sees it with Skipp or is simply forced to play him due to a lack of squad strength at CM. Dier was at CB, Wanyama is hardly fit and was already on the pitch. Winks injured.

I think it's the latter. If Poch gets the required players in he wants and needs, Skipp rightly won't be anywhere near the first team next season.

I know fans love the idea of academy kids coming through, but the majority of them just aren't good enough.

Winks still has to prove his consistency, I wouldn't say he's made himself first choice CM either. He's put in isolated very good performances in a handful of games, but he's really struggled to play a consistent stretch of games at a high level.

If I was Poch I'd be looking at Sissoko and one other to come in to play as first choice. Winks as squad rotation (plus he's unreliable fitness wise). Someone like an N'Dombele would be ideal but sadly unlikely.
I think the fact that he has played him at various times this season suggests that there's some level of trust there.

Also I'd say that Winks is first choice alongside Sissoko now, and would have cemented his place if not for injuries - if he's fit I'm sure he'll start the CL final.
 

glospur

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I don't really get the lack of pace criticism. It's probably the position on the pitch where pace is of the least importance. He's smart, he's technically good, has an eye for a pass, and he looks to have a super mentality. All traits that are really important in young CMs. Very impressive so far imo.

Pretty funny to see the same people who don't/didn't rate Winks not rate Skipp. There's is a style of play and position where you need a decent understanding of the game to appreciate their value. Some people will get it, some people won't.
 

spurs9

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I believe 4 specialist senior CMs is overkill, and the 4th won't play, develop, or help foster squad unity.

It may be necessary when you've got senior pros like Wanyama and Lamela, who can't sadly stay fit - but the solution isn't to bulk the squad out to cover them, it's to replace them with better, healthier, and ideally more verstille players.

I'm totally on board with buying 1 senior CM, and 1 versatile creative player to cover CM and AM.

Any more than that will mean lowering our sights on quality to get more bodies in, which is exactly what we should be moving away from. We have an academy for precisely this reason, to focus our resources on fewer and thereby high level players.

Skipp is only 1 year out of school, but already starting to look physically mature. Another summer on the Kane / Winks regime and he'll be physically ready for the 4th/5th CM role, with Dier, Alli, and Eriksen (or his replacement), and potentially Lamela's replacement (Grealish or similar) - able to step into a 3CM system for bigger games if needed.
Our best season under Poch (16/17) we had Dembele, Wanyama, Dier and Sissoko playing CM and Winks still managed decent playing time and he missed the last 1/4 of the season through injury.

IMO, Dier isn't suited to CM anymore, so it's time to drop him back to CB & Wanyama doesn't look the same player, so we should move him on if we could.

I think we need 2 new CMs to challenge Winks and Sissoko and Skipp to get the mins that Winks did in 16/17.

There are very few players that can play in a CM2 and AM.
 

mil1lion

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Fucking hell he's still only a kid. I think it's a credit to him to even be involved with the first team as much as he has at this stage already. We can't judge whether he'll make it yet. He certainly has the potential to make it. Not only does he look comfortable and confident on the ball but he also has the tenacity to play in this team. He has every chance of following on from Winks.

Given the number of games we have even if he's say 5th central midfielder he will still get games next season. We've clearly run out of steam in the 2nd half of the season because the squad isn't deep enough. One of the issues we have is the variation in centre midfield. My issue with Wanyama for example is he just doesn't fit well alongside Dier or Sissoko. His passing isn't good enough to fit alongside Sissoko so we end up without any good passing in centre midfield. He doesn't offer enough going forward alongside Dier and we look too defensive. Skipp looks like someone who could fit alongside Dier or Sissoko. He looks like he can play the number 8 alongside Dier or sit a bit deeper alongside Sissoko. He's like Winks in that regard. I think there will be times we'll go with a central 3 next season too and he would fit nicely in there with any 2 of Dier, Sissoko or Winks.
 

Primativ

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I think the fact that he has played him at various times this season suggests that there's some level of trust there.

Also I'd say that Winks is first choice alongside Sissoko now, and would have cemented his place if not for injuries - if he's fit I'm sure he'll start the CL final.
I don’t doubt Poch seems him as the pick of the academy kids. Just saying that Poch really has no other option, we’ve been terribly light in CM all season.

On your second point, again because we don’t have much depth there. I’m sure Poch wants a top quality CM, we tried for De Jong after all and would have spent big on him. That seems to me to suggest Poch thinks we need to be stronger in CM and Winks would be the logical one to miss out if everyone was fit. I can’t see Sissoko being benched based on how good he’s been this season. Winks is unreliable fitness wise. Sure it’s a squad game but if everyone was fit, it’s Sissoko and one other (a passer). De Jong is basically a better Dutch version of Winks isn’t he?! If Poch thought Winks was the answer, why was he willing to blow 60 million on De Jong...
 

Shadydan

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I don’t doubt Poch seems him as the pick of the academy kids. Just saying that Poch really has no other option, we’ve been terribly light in CM all season.

On your second point, again because we don’t have much depth there. I’m sure Poch wants a top quality CM, we tried for De Jong after all and would have spent big on him. That seems to me to suggest Poch thinks we need to be stronger in CM and Winks would be the logical one to miss out if everyone was fit. I can’t see Sissoko being benched based on how good he’s been this season. Winks is unreliable fitness wise. Sure it’s a squad game but if everyone was fit, it’s Sissoko and one other (a passer). De Jong is basically a better Dutch version of Winks isn’t he?! If Poch thought Winks was the answer, why was he willing to blow 60 million on De Jong...
We tried for De Jong in the summer last year, that doesn't really prove that Winks isn't good enough, it proves that we're looking for quality in addition to the players that we already have besides Winks has come on leaps and bounds since then anyway. There's no denying that we need to strengthen our midfield but I don't just don't buy the argument that he was looking ad De Jong to be Winks' replacement, no reason why we can't have 5 midfielders like Liverpool have and rotate like they do for example.
 
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Our best season under Poch (16/17) we had Dembele, Wanyama, Dier and Sissoko playing CM and Winks still managed decent playing time and he missed the last 1/4 of the season through injury.

IMO, Dier isn't suited to CM anymore, so it's time to drop him back to CB & Wanyama doesn't look the same player, so we should move him on if we could.

I think we need 2 new CMs to challenge Winks and Sissoko and Skipp to get the mins that Winks did in 16/17.

There are very few players that can play in a CM2 and AM.
Ok, lets take a look at the CM pecking order and their PL starts in 16/17:

1. Dembele 30 PL starts.
2. Wanyama 33 PL starts, 3 sub.
3. Sissoko 28 PL starts, 13 at CM, 15 at RWF,
4. Dier 13 PL games at DM, 23 at CB (in a 3).
5. Winks 2 starts, 19 sub appearances (11 of which for more than 5 minutes).

So for 19/20 we'd have:

1. Winks - will be roughly similar to Dembele in 16/17 - ie a main XI player who can't play 50 games a year.
2. 1st XI CM TBC. Wanyama replacement, expected to pay major minutes.
3. Sissoko - will play more than 13 games at CM, and isn't needed (or any good) at RWF.
4. Dier - mostly used as CB rotation, which won't be enough minutes. If we still believe in him, a pre-season will get him back to competent as 4th DM.
5. Alli, Eriksen, Grealish/signing dropping back in playing in a 3 with any of CMs 1, 2, 3.
6. Skipp - starts the season as 6th choice, getting Cup games, lower PL home starts, until he's gained the experience and trust to compete with Dier as 4th choice.

Largely depends on your views on what Dier and Skipp could be next year, which is of course totally subjective. Personally I rate him as a great prospect, and fit for our system so happy to keep a sensible path open to him.

Either way though Poch will want to keep a small squad, which is the basis of getting this "together" mentality which has served us so well. Everyone feels they have a part to play.

It's been scuppered this year but he World Cup and having so many permanent-crocks which has put further strain on our main 15 players. But if we replace Wanyama, Lamela, etc properly we should have a resilient team again.

I just feel that whoever we signed at 4th DM would see very little top level football and cause a sulk, as well as drain much needed resources for our main starting CM signing.
 

HildoSpur

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What is he... 18? Nobody knows right now how good or bad he will turn out to be. The fact he has been given a chance already suggests he is very highly rated. Midfielders generally aren't ready for first team football till they hit about 21/22.

Having said this - there is no doubt we need to invest in a midfielder.
 

Primativ

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We tried for De Jong in the summer last year, that doesn't really prove that Winks isn't good enough, it proves that we're looking for quality in addition to the players that we already have besides Winks has come on leaps and bounds since then anyway. There's no denying that we need to strengthen our midfield but I don't just don't buy the argument that he was looking ad De Jong to be Winks' replacement, no reason why we can't have 5 midfielders like Liverpool have and rotate like they do for example.
I agree with that, it is a squad game for sure.
 

RJR1949

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Cut the kid some slack.

He had his first A-Level exam this morning.

Just think about that. He’s so young that he’s still doing his A-Levels.
 

jeremystorey

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Not sure how anyone can judge him outright at this age. It's just too soon.

If we strengthen and deepen our midfield options over the summer, I hope that he gets sent out on loan to a club that will actually give him game time. I know loans are hit-n-miss. Much depends on the character of the player, the style of the manager they're gonna play for, and the position they'll be playing at the club.

He's certainly a promising player, and given the right development, could turn out to be another Winks.
 

coys200

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Sometimes I don’t think age is that relevant l mean he’s only a year younger than when dele took the league by storm. However I definitely think he’s that type of player that will get better with age. He’s a more industrious player rather than someone like a dele that just has that natural ability. Almost like a young Milner he didn’t peak till 33 lol. Just think he will end up a good solid pro like a Milner type.
 

TEESSIDE1

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Yes Skipp is young but so are some of football’s superstars. He may develop as a player but he reminds me of Carroll, lacking both aggression, presence and someone who we can turn to, to breath life into a game. Whereas Winks despite his stature is energetic, tenacious and influences games. Albeit a different position, we’ve also got Parrott, he’s even younger than Skipp and his raw talent is on display for all to see. I just don’t see the ‘raw’ talent with Skipp that suggests even with the right coaching that he can go on to be a top 4/6 player.
 
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Sophos151

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Sometimes I don’t think age is that relevant l mean he’s only a year younger than when dele took the league by storm. However I definitely think he’s that type of player that will get better with age. He’s a more industrious player rather than someone like a dele that just has that natural ability. Almost like a young Milner he didn’t peak till 33 lol. Just think he will end up a good solid pro like a Milner type.
Skipp isn't the same type of player as Dele so that's not a fair comparison. He plays more like Winks (made his England debut at 21) or maybe Carrick (debut at 19 but didn't make it back into the squad after until he was 23) if you want to go back further,
 

JimmyG2

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Debatable whether Poch actually sees it with Skipp or is simply forced to play him due to a lack of squad strength at CM. Dier was at CB, Wanyama is hardly fit and was already on the pitch. Winks injured.

I think it's the latter. If Poch gets the required players in he wants and needs, Skipp rightly won't be anywhere near the first team next season.

I know fans love the idea of academy kids coming through, but the majority of them just aren't good enough.

Winks still has to prove his consistency, I wouldn't say he's made himself first choice CM either. He's put in isolated very good performances in a handful of games, but he's really struggled to play a consistent stretch of games at a high level.

If I was Poch I'd be looking at Sissoko and one other to come in to play as first choice. Winks as squad rotation (plus he's unreliable fitness wise). Someone like an N'Dombele would be ideal but sadly unlikely.
No shit Sherlock.

But some of them are.
Kane and Winks certainly are
and when fit first choice.
Harry Kane underwent several years
of dismissive commentary
before he made his critics
eat their words.

Skipp is 18 and is developing well
Academy or whatever.
He should have had more game time this year
but should get more next year.
He and Winks will be our midfield mainstays
for years to come.

You seem to want
to dismiss their claims
simply because they are from
our Academy.
 
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Skipp's the right age and experience to be the spare midfielder, above two players per position, if we want to have one. Won't complain for a season, but will be competent enough to come in, and to challenge more experienced players who lose form.

Replace Wanyama because he looks physically past it, keep Dier because he's young enough to recover form, and English, and we don't want too much to do in one window. Then buy the best DM we can, maintaining Poch's favored number of two specialists. If the new DM can play the 6 role that's one chance to replace Dembele, but prioritise DM ability. Skipp backs up and potentially overtakes Dier.

At AM Lamela goes through physical incapacity like Wanyama, and is replaced by the best creative AM we can get, with pace no longer the priority it was thanks to Moura joining Son. If the new AM can play the 6 role that's our second roll of the dice on replacing Dembele. Keeps the traditional number of 5 senior AMs we've been comfortable with, plus youth or Edwards.

This leaves Winks and Sissoko as CMs and a spare spot to upgrade on them if we're to have 10 senior players across ten midfield positions. Our primary attempt to replace Dembele, buy the best No.6 we can, insured by the AM and DM purchases which might well buy us some of the same capability.

Three chances to get it right in our weakest area of the pitch. If we roll the dice three times in one window, without needing to look for prospects over ability because the departures sort the age profiles already, we can get the odds more on our side.
 
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