A Tottenham Hotspur player surprisingly agreed to a new contract extension today as announced on social media, but it probably wasn’t the one anyone expected. The club posted today that goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman has signed a new two year deal that will keep him at Spurs until the end of the 2024-25 season.
We are delighted to announce that goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman has signed a new contract with the Club that will run until 2025.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 22, 2023
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but I actually am, quite a bit. Whiteman is 24 and a product of Spurs’ academy where he has been dueling with fellow academy grad and keeper Brandon Austin for his entire career. Whiteman has been at Spurs since he was nine, is a life-long fan, and was born in Tottenham — a true local product. But he’s effectively fourth choice this season, behind the injured Lloris, Fraser Forster, and Austin.
To my knowledge, Whiteman has only one senior appearance for Spurs — a late sub appearance in the Europa League against Ludogoretz in 2020 — and has been on loan at Degerfors in Sweden for the past two seasons. He returned from his second loan stint in Sweden in December. Whiteman’s extension also comes at a weird time for the club, which is actively searching for a long-term successor for Hugo Lloris.
Does Whiteman have a future as a Tottenham Hotspur keeper? Man, I dunno. I sure wouldn’t have said so as recently as this fall considering his international loans. Maybe the plan is that Whiteman, now that he’s had a couple of loan stints, will take Austin’s place as the third keeper allowing Brandon to head out on loan himself (or be sold). Maybe by signing an extension Whiteman becomes a more saleable asset down the road. Or, maybe the club thinks that Alfie really could be the first academy keeper to become first choice at the club since Ian Walker in the mid 1990s.
My guess is that it’s probably some combination of the first two options. Spurs are likely going to sign a long-term successor to Lloris this summer, and my guess is that Forster might stick around for a little while but likely isn’t long for the club either. Austin has had a couple of minor loans but is probably due to have a step up in competition one way or another, and there’s really no reason for one of your backup keepers not to be English and an academy grad if one’s available.
At any rate, Alfie seems content just to be at the club he’s spent most of his life at, and that’s fine by me.