Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding Tottenham Hotspur over the past few years, one thing that has been consistent is the presence and quality of Hugo Lloris between the sticks. Since coming to Spurs from Lyon in 2012, Lloris has been a regular performer on the pitch as well as in the dressing room due to his leadership, a quality that has led to him to become club captain for both Spurs and France. Known for his shot-stopping capabilities, that main strength has always outshone his deficiencies, notably his passing out of the back.
And while the 34 year old has had an incredibly successful tenure at Spurs, the reality is that the French international is in the last year of his contract and Spurs are going to have a decision to make regarding who will be his successor. While there are options in the academy in Alfie Whiteman and Brandon Austin, neither goalkeeper has been fancied by any of Spurs’ managers in recent years, with the club opting to bring in over-the-hill veterans like Joe Hart and an on-loan Pierluigi Gollini as second fiddle to Lloris.
Regarding Gollini, the Italian has appeared in seven games, none in the Premier League and none especially impressive. Gollini has certainly integrated himself well within the squad, but nominal metrics tell us that he is just quite average. So it poses the question — assuming Hugo does not sign a new contract, which goalkeeper will be starting consistently for Spurs next season?
I do want to make it clear that I was in favor of the club selling Lloris in the summer. My argument was that selling Hugo would continue the refresh of faces in the dressing room while also getting back some fee in return before his contract ran out.
Still a world-class goalkeeper and one who does not get enough attention, I am more than happy that Lloris is currently Tottenham’s No. 1, but let’s take a look at five candidates who could be added into the group over the summer should Lloris look to move on.
A couple of notes before we get started. Spurs were rumored to be interested in André Onana, but the Ajax player is likely to sign for Inter Milan this summer. Dean Henderson is a name that has been mentioned, but due to the amount of years remaining on his contract as well as his price tag, it seems unlikely that Spurs and Manchester United would do business on him. Additionally, goalkeeper market is a bit scarce and low on available talent at this time. So there is always the potential of Spurs extending Lloris should Fabio Paratici and company opt that the alternatives to Lloris are not as appealing.
Jordan Pickford, Everton
Let’s get this one out of the way early, as there have been links to England’s No. 1 in the past couple of days. A few days ago, Spurs were linked to Pickford. The Telegraph indicated that Conte was a fan of Pickford and that bringing him aboard would also be beneficial towards Tottenham’s homegrown player quota.
The error bars on Pickford’s ability really ranges quite far. He sometimes has head-scratching moments, such as a few weeks ago against Spurs when he pulled up from a long throw and ultimately turned the ball over in a dangerous area. Despite that, Pickford has been lauded for his ability to play out the back and he is consistently chosen as England’s No. 1. He has also been given credit for his ability to sort a defense. Pickford would be quite expensive and he would for sure cause for a ton of headaches. This one is a stay-away for me.
Sam Johnstone, West Brom
It pains all of us to see it, but look at the impact Aaron Ramsdale has had with Arsenal. Spurs’ north London rivals spent premium money on Ramsdale over the summer and it did not take long for him to overtake Bernd Leno in net. When we were discussing goalkeeping options over the summer, Ramsdale and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone were quite similar in ability to me.
Both players gained valuable Premier League experience over the past few years, playing on pretty poor sides in the process. Because of the lack of talent in front of them, both players needed to make a ton of saves and both proved they were capable of playing in England’s top domestic league. Ramsdale and Johnstone have also received some national team attention in large part due to this. As of this writing, West Brom sits in a playoff position in the Championship, but he should be available at a cheap price.
Luís Maximiano, Granada
Taking a look abroad, one goalkeeper who has quietly had a spectacular season is Granada’s Luís Maximiano. Granada is hovering just above the relegation zone in La Liga at the moment, but the 22-year-old Portuguese international is trying to do his part, already making 44 saves.
Maximiano is an above-average shot-stopper and while numbers indicate he is giving up over a goal a game, it should be mentioned that he is facing the highest number of shots on goal as Granada’s defense is pretty poor. Maximiano has a good pedigree coming over to Granada after spending years in Sporting’s successful youth development system. Granada is facing a potential relegation, so perhaps they cash in one of their more prized assets.
Dominik Livaković, Dinamo Zagreb
I mentioned Livaković over the summer and I am adding him here again. The Croatian international has been on my radar for quite a bit and I was expecting a big EUROs campaign. However, the Croatia team as a whole were pretty underwhelming.
We can remember Livaković from Spurs’ Europa League ties against Zagreb last season. He was spectacular in Spurs’ 3-0 away defeat in Croatia, but he also kept his team alive in the tie by making multiple saves in the latter part of the first leg. Livaković is quite athletic, tall, a decent shot-stopper and excels when the ball is in the air. It should also be mentioned that Spurs have dealt business with Dinamo in the past.
Alphonse Areola, West Ham (on loan from PSG)
It seems that PSG have like five decent goalkeeping options. Despite having Keylor Navas, PSG went out and spent big to acquire one of the best ‘keepers in the world in Gianluigi Donnarumma over the summer. Because of this, one player who should be available is Alphonse Areola, who is currently on loan at West Ham and spent time last season in the Premier League with Fulham.
Surprisingly, Areola is 28 years old. Despite being with PSG going back to his days in their youth academy, he has spent time on a bevy of loans, ranging from clubs in La Liga to the Premier League. He would be cheap and likely available, so Spurs could do worse than bringing in Areola on a free transfer as his contract is set to expire in June of 2022.
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