WeAreTottenhamTV contributor Simeon Daniel believes Oliver Skipp’s expected absence for Tottenham Hotspur’s next Premier League game is a “big blow”.
The domestic football hiatus is almost at an end, and Premier League football will resume this weekend.
Tottenham face a difficult clash against Newcastle, with the Magpies having lost just two of their last 10 Premier League matches, with every fixture now vital to the north London outfit’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Who should start alongside Hojbjerg?
Skipp has missed the last nine matches with pubitis, but Antonio Conte had been hopeful he could return to the action following the international break. However, The Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick revealed the midfielder is unlikely to feature on Sunday.
Speaking on the latest WeAreTottenhamTV episode, Daniel expressed his disappointment at this latest update. He said: “That’s another big blow in terms of having him available for the last stretch of the season. Because, you know, we thought maybe if he spends the international break getting fit and if he’s back for this Newcastle game, then we’ll have him available.
“He’s been such a big player for us ever since Conte’s come in and for the majority of the season. He brings a lot of stability to the team, even though I think we are finding it now, Bentancur and Hojbjerg – if one of them gets injured, then we’re in trouble without Skippy available.”
TIF Thoughts on Skipp’s absence…
Skipp featured in 18 of the first 20 league games of the season before being struck down by this awkward pelvic injury. The change of manager from Nuno Espirito Santo to Conte did not appear to have affected his standing and importance, while his 90.1% passing accuracy illustrates the composure he has shown in the middle of the park.
However, as Daniel alluded to, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are forming a solid understanding in the £18m-valued 21-year-old’s absence.
Tottenham have won five of their last seven league matches, including wins against Manchester City and West Ham United, and they have prevailed in four of those clashes by a margin of at least two goals. The timing of Skipp’s injury was unfortunate, but it has allowed Bentancur to come to the fore and show the abilities that led to him signing for Juventus.
When Skipp is once again available, he faces a battle to cement himself once again as a regular first-team starter.