There is a huge rebuilding job to be done at Tottenham. Does it start with the goalkeeper?
On the evidence of this season, you’d say that Hugo Lloris is the least of the problems for Spurs at the moment. At a time when reinforcements clearly need to be made in defence, midfield and attack, you have to question whether buying an expensive new goalkeeper is a priority.
Lloris is now 34-years old and and will turn 35 before the season ends. His contract will come to an end in the summer and there has been speculation that he will be replaced, with Jordan Pickford one of the names put forward to replace him.
If Antonio Conte was desperate for a goalkeeper with great kicking and distribution ability, then replacing Lloris would make sense. This has always been a weakness in the game of Lloris and is probably the reason why he has remained at Spurs for so long. From a pure goalkeeping perspective, Lloris has long been one of the best in the world and yet there have been no real attempt from Europe’s biggest clubs to sign the World Cup winner.
In the latter years of the Mauricio Pochettino era, Lloris did look like a goalkeeper out of time, as he struggled to play out from the back with his feet. Since Pochettino left and less emphasis was placed on Lloris to perform in this way, he’s looked like a more solid proposition again.
It seems that Conte has already decided that Lloris should stay. David Ornstein’s transfer roundup in The Athletic this week, claimed that Lloris could sign a new contract extension, that would at least keep him at the club in the short term.
That would make a lot of sense. Lloris is still good enough to be number one for Spurs, it frees up immediate transfer budget and gives the club more time to find an eventual successor.
This is especially true considering that Pierluigi Gollini has not been a success since signing from Atalanta in the summer. The backup keeper signed on a season-long loan with an option to make it a permanent deal, but his performances in cup competitions have been far from convincing. It would be a surprise if Gollini was signed permanently in the summer, which would mean that Tottenham would need to sign two goalkeepers if Lloris was allowed to also leave.
Another aspect that should be key to keeping Lloris at the club is his character. In the Amazon documentary ‘All Or Nothing’, it was clear that he was an influential force in the dressing room, who is both popular and commands respect.
A recent interview with the keeper that Lloris replaced, shone some light on how the club captain is viewed. Brad Friedel was asked if he was surprised that Lloris was still at Spurs. Betway, “No, I’m not surprised. Every now and again I shoot a text to Hugo congratulating him, like with the World Cup and things like that.”
Still performing well in his mid-thirties, a leader in the dressing room and still on speaking terms with the man he controversially replaced. Here’s hoping that Lloris signs a new contract and starts his tenth consecutive season as the Spurs number one.