Pau Lopez was supposed to be the goalkeeper of the future at Tottenham Hotspur. Now, if Spanish daily AS is anything to go by, he won’t even be a Tottenham Hotspur player. AS is reporting that Spurs have ended their interest in signing Lopez on a permanent basis after having their original offer rejected, and the player will return to Espanyol.
Pau had a purchase option of £6m in his loan contract, and Spurs reportedly paid a €600k loan fee to Espanyol on condition of taking him. Spurs had made an offer last week for Pau’s permanent transfer, but it was significantly less than that: just €2m plus an additional amount in add-ons plus a sell-on clause. Espanyol apparently told the club to buzz off and Spurs pulled the deal. AS goes on to say that the return of Lopez could jeopardize Espanyol’s signing of Athletic Bilbao keeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Lopez was signed on a year long loan at the end of last August, and then-third string keeper Luke McGee was himself shipped off on loan to League One. Just 20 years old, he came highly rated, and Mauricio Pochettino was apparently familiar with him from his time managing Espanyol.
Third string keepers don’t see much game time, and neither did Pau this season. In fact, he didn’t make a single senior appearance for Spurs in 2016-17, lodged behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, though he made the bench a few times. Instead, he played seven matches in the Premier League 2, where he let in eight goals but also kept three clean sheets.
I have no idea if this is a good thing or not, because apart from a few minutes against Kitchee SC in Hong Kong, I never got to see Pau play. Maybe he was good, and maybe he wasn’t. Unless something dramatic changes, we may never really know.