Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly set to complete their second summer signing in the form of England goalkeeper Joe Hart – but Fabian Barthez claimed after Euro 2016 that he is “two levels” below Hugo Lloris.
Hart, 33, is a free agent after it was confirmed that his contract at Burnley came to an end – two years after the 75-time England international moved to Turf Moor. His career has dwindled since being ousted by Pep Guardiola.
Tricky spells at Torino and West Ham have been followed by just 24 outings in two seasons at Burnley. However, Spurs are now set to land Hart on a free – with a medical said to have taken place on Monday.
Sky Sports claim Hart will compete with Paulo Gazzaniga for Lloris’ number-one spot. But Barthez’s comments after Hart struggled at Euro 2016 will come as alarming for Spurs fans, given he claims he is some way below Lloris.
“His diving technique isn’t good. It’s too horizontal and not aggressive enough,” Barthez told France Football in 2016. “He isn’t flexible and doesn’t come out. When he runs, it’s just ‘thud, thud, thud.’
“He messes up because he doesn’t attack the ball’s path, meaning his hands are then pushed back by the impact with the ball. Hart is two levels below [Manuel] Neuer, [Thibaut] Courtois and [Hugo] Lloris.”
TBR’s view – On a free, Hart is good cover for Lloris
The chances are that Hart will hardly reach double figures in terms of appearances next season. Whether he will be second choice or third choice Paulo Gazzaniga remains to be seen, but he is a no-brainer on a free.
Barthez’s comments are right to some degree – he is nowhere near Lloris’ standard, who improved since the restart. But he is a winner, has enormous experience and helps the homegrown quota. A good addition as cover.