Spurs midfield duo working behind-scenes

Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield duo Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr are believed to have formed a strong relationship behind-the-scenes at Hotspur Way.

What’s the latest?

The north London club have been hit massively by injury issues over the last week or so which has left Antonio Conte’s option in midfield incredibly limited.

Rodrigo Bentancur sustained a devastating ACL injury on the weekend in the defeat against Leicester City which will reportedly see him out for up to seven months.

Adding to this, Yves Bissouma picked up a fracture to his ankle in training last week and he could be out for in the region of two months.

This saw the Italian with only Skipp and Sarr to choose from the senior side on Tuesday night against AC Milan but journalist Alasdair Gold has provided an insight into their positive relationship on the pitch:

(20:40) “And what I understand I’ve been told this by a couple of people around them, that they really enjoy playing together.

“You know, in training, they pair up sometimes. They played against Portsmouth for the 90 minutes didn’t they together in the FA Cup?

“They played briefly, maybe 10-12 minutes, something like that as well, in the friendly against it was Peterborough U21s. But from what I understand, they just really kind of click on the pitch, they really enjoy playing alongside each other.”

Fresh legs

Given the injury issues to Bissouma and Bentancur, the suspension carried over for the Danish midfielder, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, will have felt like a huge blow for Spurs.

Hojbjerg has become one of the first names on the Spurs team sheet having made 62 appearances under Conte since the Italian’s arrival.

However, arguably, the two best players on the pitch for Spurs on Tuesday night were the two young midfielders who were thrown in at the deep end in one of Europe’s most famous grounds.

Who is the better midfielder?

Pape Matar Sarr

Pape Matar Sarr

Oliver Skipp

Oliver Skipp

And it was apparent Gold was impressed with the midfield pair after he awarded the youngsters with an 8/10 rating for their displays at the San Siro.

During his 90-minute display, the Senegalese midfielder tallied up five tackles, 77 touches and 49 successful passes on what was his Champions League debut (via SofaScore).

And it seems as if the pair have been working together at Hotspur Way as a midfield two which would certainly make sense given how familiar they both looked with each other’s game.

Although Skipp went into the game against the reigning Serie A champions with more experience at Spurs than Sarr, the 22-year-old was only making his fifth appearance in the Champions League.

Filling in for the likes of the established Bentancur, Skipp only lost possession on five occasions on Tuesday night and also registered two tackles and an interception (via SofaScore).

With Hokbjerg able to slot back into the side on the weekend, it will be interesting to see how the midfield display against Milan may potentially sway Conte’s thinking for his next starting XI.