Who is this imminent Tottenham's signing, Espanyol's Pau Lopez?
It’s believed that Tottenham are close to securing the signature of Spain under 21s’ goalkeeper Pau Lopez with an agreement reached with Espanyol which will see the 21-year-old move to Tottenham on loan for a £500,000 fee, with a £6 million option to buy the promising youngster, claim the Evening Standard.
Having made an approach to the Barcelona club for the goalkeeper earlier in the summer, when a £3 million bid was rejected, it’s believed that injury to Hugo Lloris has forced Mauricio Pochettino to up his offer in order to speed the deal up and bring in cover for Michel Vorm whilst the French goalkeeper is out with a hamstring problem. It is likely that upon his return to fitness, Pau would compete with Vorm for a place as the second choice goalkeeper.
Mauricio Pochettino worked with the goalkeeper when he was just 18-years-old and coming through the youth ranks as the Argentinean was manager at the RCDE Stadium. Since then, he has tracked the Catalan ‘keepers progress closely and seen him break into the first team last season, where he established himself as first choice under Constantin Galca. With seven La Liga clean sheets from 36 games under his belt, it is clear to see how he worked his way into the Spain under 21s international set-up, where he earnt his first junior cap in the summer.
Galca’s sacking and the arrival of former Watford boss Quique Flores has seen his position under threat as Flores brought in former Atletico goalkeeper Robert from Olympiacos, who started last weekend’s opening fixture as Espanyol fell to a 6-4 defeat at Sevilla. Despite making an average of three saves per game last season, his place has been on the bench under new management, and a move to London could give a change of scenery which can help him to continue his development and kick on to the next level with experience in the Premier League.
However, there are times when his age does show. After a superb performance as his side held FC Barcelona to a 0-0 draw in February and with his confidence booming, some comments in the media ahead of the return Barcelona derby were ill advised at best. Having said that he would do all he could to keep a clean sheet to help Real Madrid in their chase for the title to defeat arch rivals Barcelona. Pau Lopez went on to drop several clangers in a 6-0 defeat.
This signing is definitely one with an eye on the long-term for Spurs, with the loan option giving Pochettino some time to decide whether or not the Spaniard is worth a £6 million investment to secure his services permanently. At £3 million as initially bid, the gamble would have been worthwhile, but now the London club have some time to see what they think of the goalkeeper up close and personal, which may be vital given his reputation for flapping at aerial balls into the box and sloppy passing when moving out from the back.
That said, Pau Lopez is one of the most promising goalkeepers in Europe and there are few options with such levels of experience at such a young age, so there are plenty of reasons for Spurs fans to be excited about the deal. Competing alongside Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm may restrict his gametime at White Hart Lane but will help him to improve as a player, and will surely give Spurs the best cover in goal of any team in the Premier League.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Perico Dominguez.
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