It’s never a good sight to see a player get injured but in some cases it might make room for the emergence of another player. In that regard, Hugo Lloris’ horror arm injury in Spurs latest loss away at Brighton could prove to be a blessing in disguise. The Tottenham captain was ruled out until the new year after he horrifically damaged ligaments in his elbow while falling over the weekend.
In some rather ironic news, former Spurs striker Darren Bent suggests Mauricio Pochettino may well benefit from having his no.1 goalkeeper on the sidelines.
Paulo Gazzaniga is Tottenham’s back-up between the sticks and Bent is excited to see more of the Argentine over the coming months. Lloris has come under scrutiny for his form over the past couple of seasons but as the club captain. the France international remains an integral part of the side.
It is understandable that under-pressure manager Pochettino would have been looking for a reason to drop his under-performing keeper. Without a choice, 27-year-old understudy Gazzaniga now has a chance to really establish himself in the North London side, having made just 15 appearances in all competitions for the club (Transfermarkt) since arriving in the summer of 2017.
Discussing the goalkeeping situation at Spurs, Bent told Football Insider in an exclusive interview:
“When he (Gazzaniga) stepped in last season he was very, very good.”
“Hugo Lloris is still a very, very good goalkeeper but we have seen in the last couple of seasons him start to make more and more mistakes.
“Now I hate to see people get injured, it’s horrible to say but this might just be the opportunity for Pochettino to have a look at it and go: ‘You know what, something’s got to change.’
“We know Hugo Lloris is a very good goalkeeper but he has been making mistakes that have been costing us goals.
“Maybe if Gazzaniga can get a run of games now and get some minutes on the pitch where he performs well, maybe Pochettino goes: ‘You know what, it’s time for a change.’”
It’s not much of a claim to say asides Pochettino at the club, Hugo Lloris is easily one of the most influential figures in the Tottenham squad. However, for a player with much experience and leadership acumen in his command, his performances haven’t translated to that on the pitch.
Since the start of the 2016/17 season, Lloris has made the most errors of any top-six goal goalkeeper and in the whole of the Premier League, only Asmir Begovic has made more within that time-frame.
Hugo Lloris has now made nine errors leading to goals in the Premier League since the start of the 2016/17 season, only Asmir Begović has made more (10).
It goes from bad to worse for Spurs. ? pic.twitter.com/PZXFLmB0RK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 28, 2019
No player should be committing that much errors let alone the club captain. And the sad bit for Pochettino is that he recently claimed the Tottenham squad is unsettled and if he had dropped the club’s captain (even if he was on a poor run of form), it would easily have destabilized the club even further.
Pochettino would still have come under criticism for dropping his own captain but now he doesn’t have to go through that ordeal. Paulo Gazzaniga has looked an able deputy and perhaps a good run of games would morph him to the standard of even keeping Lloris out of the first-team fray.
Lloris has cost Spurs important points this season and Pochettino would have had no choice but to keep starting him, just to maintain the sanity at the club – quite a harsh reality. This might be the event that sees Spurs build up another top-class goalkeeper for the next couple seasons. At 32, Lloris is starting to age and Tottenham would have had to start looking for his replacement/backup ideally at the end of the current season. It’s even better that it comes from within and they won’t be paying through their noses to get a man between the sticks.
Spurs and Gazzaniga face a huge week when they return from the international break as Red Star Belgrade visit in the Champions League on Tuesday 22nd October before Pochettino’s men take on Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday 27th October.