Tottenham Hotspur fans are starting to get worried about goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. In fact, many fans were disappointed with the Frenchman’s displays throughout last season. His World Cup win in the summer papered over cracks and this season they are again being exposed.
After his mistake against PSV Eindhoven in midweek, he looked almost rooted to his goal-line against Manchester City yesterday, clearly fearful of making a similar error. Once a goalkeeper begins doubting themselves in this manner, the end is nigh.
Tottenham fans have been suggesting that the club should be looking at potential options to replace the Frenchman.
However, did they already have the perfect man for that role, just a few years too early?
In 2016, Tottenham signed Pau Lopez on loan from Mauricio Pochettino’s former team Espanyol. However, he failed to make a single appearance for Tottenham sitting third in line to Lloris and Michel Vorm. With the Dutchman happy to stick around as the second choice, Lopez was not signed permanently in the summer. That was despite Diario La Grada reporting that Spurs could have signed the player for a pre-agreed £6 million fee. According to the Guardian, Spurs’ offer of £1.75 million was swiftly rejected.
Instead, Lopez returned to Espanyol. He quickly earned back his place as the number one goalkeeper at the club and this summer was one of the more wanted Bosman transfers on the market.
Real Betis signed him and Lopez has been in good form for the club so far. He has established himself as the number one in Seville, ahead of former Everton goalie Joel Robles. Four clean sheets in nine appearances highlight his form, even if he does have to share duties with Robles for the time being.
However, at just 23-years-old, he is considered one of the top young goalkeepers in Europe and Tottenham have surely missed a trick with the player.
If they had handed him some more opportunities during his spell on loan, perhaps they would have Lopez on the bench now and not the ageing Vorm.
Tottenham have shot themselves in the foot on this deal and, when it comes to replacing Lloris, it will no doubt be an expensive error.