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Tottenham tracking Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy

An English backup goalkeeper? Sure, why not!

Everton v Southampton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Michel Vorm is likely moving on this summer with his contract expiring, and that means Spurs are probably in the hunt for a new backup keeper. Not a lot has been written about it, but the Mirror has a report out now that says Spurs are keeping tabs on Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy.

Backup keeper searches aren’t sexy or all that interesting, but this one could at least be somewhat important. If you recall, Spurs hit the “association/club trained” wall in the Champions League this past season because they only had 17 English-trained players on their roster. That forced them to leave Juan Foyth out of the Champions League after the group stages because Eric Lamela had returned from injury and the club had signed Lucas Moura.

One stupidly easy way the club can help alleviate that this time around is to sign a cheap English keeper — or promote a youth player — to replace Vorm. Assuming there isn’t further attrition of English players from the squad (*cough* Danny Rose), adding a player like McCarthy would allow Spurs to have a larger squad in the Champions League next season.

And really, McCarthy isn’t bad! The 28-year old keeper actually supplanted Fraser Forster as Soton’s starting keeper for the second half of last season and kept 11 clean sheets in all competitions over 33 games. That’s pretty good, considering that Southampton was a bit of a tire fire this year and only narrowly escaped relegation. He might arguably be as good as Vorm and would probably fight with Paulo Gazzaniga (another former Southampton backup keeper) for the right to be Hugo Lloris’ primary backup.

Transfermarkt, which isn’t especially reliable when it comes to player valuations, suggests McCarthy is worth about £2.5m. That’s probably wrong, but I don’t think it would cost too much to sign him.

Yes, this is the Mirror and we all know what that means with regards to transfer rumors, but signing a cheap English backup keeper is a really smart play. Even if that player isn’t McCarthy, I’d expect that whoever comes in to replace Vorm will be someone who has come up through the English football system.