A wild goalkeeper rumor appears! With the departure of Luke McGee to Portsmouth and the collapse of the Pau Lopez transfer, Tottenham Hotspur have a vacancy for a third goalkeeper behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. According to ESPN’s Tottenham correspondent Dan Kilpatrick, Spurs may be considering making a move for Southampton’s Argentine keeper Paulo Gazzaniga to fill that void.
#thfc There is interest in Gazzaniga as third-keeper. He shares a hometown with Pochettino, incidentally.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) August 3, 2017
Third keepers are curious beasts. Under most circumstances, they’re not going to come anywhere near the first team for Premier League matches unless there are serious injury issues in the squad. Which can sometimes happen! But most of the time, Premier League clubs will offer that third keeper position to either journeyman veterans as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency situations, or young keepers that need time to develop.
Gazzaniga isn’t either, which is what would make this a somewhat curious signing. He’s youngish for a keeper at age 25, but was never viewed as first choice at Southampton despite getting runs of games every so often the past few seasons. Last year he spent the entire year on loan at La Liga 2 side Rayo Vallecano, where he let in 34 goals in 32 league games, but also kept 11 clean sheets. Mauricio Pochettino knows him from his time managing Soton, though, and as Dan mentions in his tweet, he’s from Pochettino’s home town in Argentina.
He’s clearly not in the plans at Southampton, so I suppose there’s an appeal for him to come to a Champions League team like Spurs and sit the bench, but I’m a little surprised at what’s in it for Tottenham. After letting McGee go Spurs have two U23 keepers waiting in the wings in Alfie Whiteman and Brandon Austin, both of whom are younger than Gazzaniga and are academy grads. Heck, they could split time at third keeper and still probably not get any first team minutes, if Pau’s experience is any indication. 25 years isn’t at all old for a keeper, but Gazzaniga’s not exactly brimming with potential anymore, and it’s unlikely he’s ever going to turn into a keeper that can challenge or succeed Hugo.
Gazzaniga’s transfer fee isn’t listed but you’d have to think it wouldn’t be very much. Still, I’m not sure it makes a whole lot of sense to sign a third keeper at the expense of one of your academy lads who would jump at the chance to prove himself.