Spurs fans may not like to think about it, but there’s going to come a time in the not-so-distant future where Tottenham Hotspur will be without the services of long-time captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Hugo is currently in the final year of his contract — it expires this summer — and while there’s apparently been some talk about a short term extension that will keep him at White Hart Lane for a little while longer, at 35 he’s staring directly into the twilight of his career.
So who’s next? That’s the question. The only thing we THINK we know is that on-loan backup Pierluigi Gollini is probably not the guy to take over Hugo’s gloves next season, based on his recent performances. Today, writing in The Independent,
Trent Crimm Tom Kershaw dishes out a few possibilities that are supposedly on Tottenham’s short list, and it’s topped by former Arsenal and current Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez, who will have two years left on his initial four year contract.
Martinez joined Villa from Arsenal for £20m in the summer of 2020 and has quickly established himself as one of the brightest and best young keepers in the Premier League. Kershaw calls the possibility of luring Martinez away from Villa “spectacularly divisive,” due to Martinez’ status as a former Gooner. Personally, I don’t think Spurs fans would have much of an issue — it’s not exactly common that you have a player on Spurs’ roster that has also played for Arsenal at one point in their career, but neither is it necessarily cause for fan uproar — fans eventually accepted both Emmanuel Adebayor and William Gallas, and the level of ire that Kershaw describes is usually reserved for players who would hypothetically go directly either way and not with a club or two in between.
No, the real reason that this would be a difficult transfer is that Aston Villa is on current form just as good as Spurs. Martinez is also reportedly quite happy at Villa Park and may not be willing to make a change just for the sake of making a change, nor would Villa be content to let him go except for peak value.
The other names on Tottenham’s want list are also decent and/or promising, if not exactly gimmes — West Brom’s Sam Johnstone features, as does Real Sociedad’s Alex Remiro (26) and Napoli’s Alex Meret (24). Martinez would be the obvious choice out of this short list, but there are a ton of variables in play at the moment. Much of it will obviously come down to whether Hugo decides to leave and which keeper is both available, willing, and preferred by Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici.