The Hard Tackle identifies three players who have the quality to replace the ageing Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris next season.
It hasn’t been an easy campaign for Tottenham Hotspur. The club that was widely expected to compete for the Premier League title is now in risk of being overtaken by arch-rivals Arsenal in the eighth place this weekend.
There have been many reasons behind Spurs’ demise this season, one of which is the absence of a reliable goalkeeper. Hugo Lloris’ fall from grace has been evident over the past few years while second choice ‘keeper Paulo Gazzaniga hasn’t done enough to win over the crowds.
As a result, Tottenham might be forced to look into the market in the summer, in search of a viable replacement for Lloris. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will discuss three players Spurs could target as they look to undergo a major overhaul in the defensive department.
Andre Onana: The expensive one
With clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid and Liverpool spending a fortune on goalkeepers in recent years, Tottenham Hotspur could well join the bandwagon by making a move for Andre Onana this summer.
The Ajax starlet is regarded as one of the most talented goalkeepers in Europe at the moment, having enjoyed a swift rise to prominence in recent years. Indeed, the Cameroonian international has already notched up 178 competitive appearances for Ajax, at the age of just 23.
Onana’s contributions in goal were critical behind Ajax’s relentless success in domestic and in European competition last season. Although the Dutch outfit hasn’t been as impressive in the ongoing campaign, their goalkeeper has still kept eight clean sheets in 24 matches.
Moreover, Onana’s statistics have appeared quite similar, with the goalkeeper averaging 2.1 saves per game in the Eredivisie this season compared to his tally of 2.4 last term.
And as mentioned earlier, the 23-year-old could cost a fortune given the prospect he could offer for the future. Not to mention, the Ajax star reportedly wants a move to Chelsea this summer so luring him to north London will undoubtedly be challenging.
Peter Gulacsi: The sensible choice
Peter Gulacsi is arguably one of the most underappreciated players in world football. Since moving to RB Leipzig in 2015, the ex-Liverpool starlet has quietly become the face of Hungarian football and one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
This season, in particular, Gulacsi has kept eight clean sheets in just 24 Bundesliga matches. The two players who have managed more clean sheets in Manuel Neuer and Roman Burki have made considerably fewer saves than the Hungarian international, mainly because they both play for clubs, which naturally face very few defensive challenges.
RB Leipzig are having a positive campaign so far, notably reaching the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League, beating last season’s finalists Tottenham Hotspur. They are also pretty much in the race for the Bundesliga title. And a lot of credit should be given to Gulacsi.
That being said, at the age of 30, it might be time for him to move on. And a return to Premier League could be an ideal destination as he seeks to prove himself following a dreadful spell at Liverpool.
Tottenham, in that regard, should be a perfect suitor. He can compete with the ageing Lloris in goal, and unlike Onana, the Lilywhites are unlikely to face as much competition, in the potential pursuit of Gulacsi this summer.
Zack Steffen: The wildcard
With so many areas left to be addressed, Tottenham Hotspur could end up having to spend a lot more than usual. And for that reason, they could like to opt for a wildcard as far as finding a proper replacement for Lloris is concerned. That’s where Zack Steffen comes into the fray.
Before proceeding any further, it should be pointed out that Steffen is an American goalkeeper who currently plays for Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan from none other than Manchester City. This could make things way more difficult for Spurs to actually make the deal happen.
📰| Manchester City will give Zack Steffen the chance to join their first-team squad in the summer.
Fortuna want Steffen to stay for another season after this, but City are believed to want to take a look at him close up before making a final decision.
— City Chief (@City_Chief) March 10, 2020
Nonetheless, Steffen has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise dire campaign for Fortuna Dusseldorf this season. He has averaged a whopping 3.8 saves per game, which is only bettered by Rune Jarstein among Bundesliga goalkeepers, who have at least made 17 appearances this campaign.
Steffen’s quick reflexes, combined with his physical astuteness inside the box, could tune in perfectly with the nature of the Premier League.
Also, standing at 1.91m, the US international is the tallest player on this list. He often uses that stature to impose his dominance inside the box and Spurs could really use that given the defensive insecurities over the past few months.