Tottenham are mapping out a key first-team role for Oliver Skipp next season after his hugely successful Norwich City loan.
The 20-year-old has made a huge impact for Daniel Farke’s promotion chasers, where he has remarkably started all 28 of their Championship matches.
Not only is he regarded as Tottenham’s finest academy product since Harry Winks but he could also potentially replace him as a fixture in the team.
A Spurs source has told Football Insider that Mourinho and his coaching staff believe the club will have a Premier League-ready talent in Skipp next season.
His development at Norwich has been closely assessed this term and he has adapted superbly to playing regular first-team football.
Initially regarded as a midfield anchorman who protects the defence, at Norwich the youngster has been heavily involved in designing the play in more of a box-to-box role alongside the deeper-lying Alex Tettey or Kenny McLean.
Skipp has bulked up physically and is far more durable than the skinny 17-year-old who made his Tottenham debut under Mauricio Pochettino.
Tottenham staff view their home-grown star as capable of slotting into the first team squad next season, and potentially even as a regular starter.
Mourinho has struggled to find the ideal partner for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in central midfield this season.
He is not totally convinced by Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko’s great athleticism does not hide his technical deficiencies and Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso are regarded as more effective in advanced roles.
Skipp could be given the opportunity to establish himself in central midfield and live up to his billing as one of England’s outstanding youngsters.
It could also potentially save Tottenham £40million in the transfer market amid doubts over the long-term future of Winks in particular.
Mourinho has been extremely complimentary of Skipp, and had no hesitation in green lighting a four-year contract for him last summer, which was first revealed by Football Insider.
Long term, the England Under-21 international has a big role to play at Tottenham and is regarded as capable of playing Champions League football in the future as well as thriving in the Premier League.