Tottenham Hotspur

Breaking news‘.Forgotten man’ set for Tottenham lifeline after Bissouma suspension.

If there is a silver lining to Ange Postecoglou’s relentless selection headaches, it is the opportunity for every member of his Tottenham squad to get a chance to make their case.

Postecoglou has had to come up with inventive ways to keep Spurs competitive ever since his players began sitting out games due to injury and suspensions.

Since first-choice duo Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven went off against Chelsea on November 6 – the former red carded, the latter injured – the Australian has employed four substitute center-backs. Of them, left-back Ben Davies has shown to be a dependable backup.

With each game, Davies is improving to the point where one might honestly question if he has played out of position for the most of his career.

Following the loss of midfielder James Maddison to an ankle injury, also against Chelsea, Postecoglou has also attempted a number of different ways to infuse energy into his team. While Dejan Kulusevski is doing admirably at the center, Giovani Lo Celso has emerged as a vital squad member, scoring in back-to-back games.

Now that Yves Bissouma is out for the next four games before Senegal’s Pape Matar Sarr and Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar go for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Postecoglou’s focus is on the center of midfield. Rodrigo Bentancur won’t be returning until February, and Madison isn’t anticipated to return until sometime in the New Year.

Under Postecoglou, the former England Under-21 international has only started two games: the season’s opening 2-2 draw at Brentford and Fulham’s lackluster third-round Carabao Cup loss that same month.

Eleven more appearances have come from the bench for him, including Friday night’s hour-long stint against Nottingham Forest as Brennan Johnson’s first-half concussion replacement.

For Skipp, the past two years have not been easy. In the early months of Antonio Conte’s leadership, he was a vital member of the team. However, the Italian coach’s long-term pelvic issue kept him out of action starting in January 2022. By the time he was cleared to play again, Spurs had acquired Bentancur and Bissouma, and Sarr had returned from loan.

Like all Spurs players save Harry Kane, Skipp had trouble finding his rhythm during Conte’s disastrous stint, but he still managed to make 23 Premier League appearances.

His highlights were a stunning strike in the 2-0 victory against Chelsea at home in February and a promising performance at the San Siro with Sarr, as a weakened Spurs team fell 1-0 to AC Milan in the Champions League knockout stages.

Skipp participated in the triumphant England U-21 European Championship as well, but mostly as a closer who came off the bench in the last ten or so minutes of matches.

Conte and Jose Mourinho plainly valued Skipp – both describing him at one point as “Tottenham’s future” – but the appointment of Postecoglou felt like it could finally be the making of the 23-year-old; over his injury problems and with a chance to kick on under a progressive coach who trusts young players.

Although it has been clear why Postecoglou prefers the dynamism of Sarr and Bissouma in addition to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s experience to help see out games, Skipp has felt like the forgotten man ever since scoring twice in the friendly against Barcelona on the eve of the season and starting at Brentford.

But with Spurs’s midfield now reduced to shells over the holiday fixtures—Lo Celso is also questionable for Saturday’s trip to Everton—Skipp should have an opportunity to show he still has what it takes to be the team’s future, as projected by Postecoglou’s predecessors.

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