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Tottenham Hotspur Season in Review 2018-19: Goalkeepers

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Are the cracks in Hugo’s armor starting to show?

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Tottenham had one of the best goalkeeping units in the league last season, boasting three players with starting experience on their books. Hugo Lloris has unquestionably been the team’s number one for seven years, but for the first time some fans started to question if it was time to move on.

Here is how every goalkeeper performed this season, and some thoughts on what we’ll do in the transfer market.

Hugo Lloris

Lloris just wrapped his seventh season at Tottenham. Was it his best season? Absolutely not. Was it his worst? Maybe! Was he still pretty damn good? You betcha!

The Frenchman has a penchant for committing boneheaded errors that lead to devastating goals in crucial matches. His distribution leaves a lot to be desired. His early-season DUI was extremely stupid, particularly considering he is the club captain and should be setting an example for the rest of the players. Despite all of that... he was still really good.

He’s been around so long, producing one flying fingertip save after another, that I do think we occasionally take his heroics for granted. He regularly bails out his defense, whether he’s racing off his line to clear a through-ball or producing a fine diving stop.

This has been a phenomenal season for Spurs, but it’s easy to forget that without two penalty saves from Lloris we could have easily finished 5th behind Arsenal and lost in the quarter-final of the Champions League.

Premier League teams have shelled out some serious cash in the past few years to upgrade between the posts (six of the 10 most expensive goalkeepers of all time currently play in England), but Hugo still ranks among the top keepers in the league.

Lloris turns 33 next season. Goalkeepers age at a different rate than other positions, but he is starting to get up there. So yes, we will have to start thinking about this replacement sooner rather than later, but that day is still a few years away.

Rating: 4 Chirpys

Paulo Gazzaniga

Gazza/Gazinga/The Most Handsome Man in N17 has firmly supplanted Michel Vorm as Tottenham’s number two in his second season with the club. His performances in Hugo’s absence even led to some calls for the Argentine to take the spot on a full-time basis. While that idea is (wildly) premature, he put in a more-than respectable shift, conceding just eight goals in 10 appearances, including a Champions League cameo.

Backup goalkeeper is a weird position to critique. Yeah, Gazzaniga is more than a little iffy on crosses and his shot stopping isn’t quite as good as Hugo’s. There are better keepers out there, but are any of them available for £2 million and willing to play 10 games a year? Probably not!

Gazzaniga turns 28 next season. He might be looking for a starting job, then again he might not be — he has a pretty great gig right now. He has three more years on his contract. He might have his eyes on Hugo’s job when the Frenchman does eventually hang up his gloves. If that doesn’t pan out, he’ll still be just 30 years old at the end of his deal, which gives him plenty of time to find a starting job somewhere else.

Rating: 3.5 Chirpys

Michel Vorm

I wrote Vorm’s review a few summers ago. He had just signed an extension keeping him at the club through 2017/18, which I think caught most people off guard. Then he signed another extension through this summer, which was even more surprising.

It didn’t quite work out for the Dutchman, as he was supplanted by Gazzaniga and barely saw the field, making just three starts for the club.

I said in 2017 that he still had time to find another starting gig. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe in the Eredevisie, but I doubt there’s a Premier League team that would make the 35-year-old their number one. I wish him well though — he’s been a very solid performer in his five years at Spurs, stepping up whenever he was called upon.

If he does move on, ideally he would be replaced by a homegrown player, opening up a spot for a foreign-born player elsewhere in the 25-man squad. Youth players Brandon Austin and Alfie Whiteman are the most likely options having both trained with the first team. Poch and co. could also look for a Rob Green-like option (though hopefully not literally Rob Green) outside the club.

Rating: 2 Chirpys

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