With it likely that Tottenham could be without their second and third choice keepers between now and the summer, who is to fill their boots at the Lane? It’s the old age question, do you add a youthful talent to the squad, keen to learn and thrive under Hugo Lloris or do you employ someone similar to Friedel who has enjoyed a good spell in the Premier League and could provide the experience necessary to fill the void on occasion?
Tottenham have been in the fortunate position over the last two seasons that they have had three goalkeepers of equal experience (despite not being on the same talent level) but nonetheless, able to do a shift at a moments notice. Whether it has been Europa League, Capital One Cup, FA Cup or Premier League action, Lloris, Friedel and Gomes have been there. Friedel has been an ever-present in the English Premier League for almost 20 years, beginning a loan spell at Newcastle from the United States Soccer Federation in 1994. But with the old bag of bones looking like they might leave the retiring home known as White Hart Lane very soon, is it possible that Friedel may migrate to his homeland at the end of the season? The MLS has taken many a Spurs hero over the last few years and with Friedel always stating it to be one of his ambitions to return to his homeland, after his contract at the Lane expires, it could become a reality.
With Heurelho Gomes giving the not so subtle hint on his Instagram that he could be exiting Spurs for his former club PSV, the position of third choice keeper at Spurs is soon to become vacant. Although not always the strongest keeper, Heurelho Gomes was part of our first fourth place squad in 2010/11 and played during our Champions League conquest. It seems now that his long and gruelling spell in London is finally over and could be completed within the week. Should this come to fruition, Spurs would be without their third choice goalkeeper. This would of course be a very small problem to Sherwood having some strong youngsters able to come up and fill this gap. Jordan Archer has been a part of Tottenham’s matchday warmup this season, ahead of Gomes and therefore would step into the Brazilian’s shoes with ease. So with that in mind, Tottenham would only have one goalkeeping position to fill, the bench warmer, otherwise known as second-choice.
But the question is, what type of keeper should take up this role? Do you go for a keeper that is keen to learn and although they would not be playing first team football, they would be a part of a Champions League chasing team, earning more than a Championship club would provide and at a club of the stature of Tottenham Hotspur. Let’s not forget, who wants to warm the bench every week? Players such as Friedel are happy to do so, considering that their career may be ticking down. So that raises the question, do you get an experienced keeper to take up this position or one of these peppy youngsters? This is a discussion I raised on Twitter recently and many of my followers reciprocated that they would prefer a youngster to come in mainly because you won’t find many a Brad Friedel just lying around and out of use in today’s footballing society. Tottenham have been linked with Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow for some time now and many who would prefer a youngster have suggested he could fill the gap that Friedel may leave and would too gain from the experience of Hugo Lloris.
With many a youngster available with the crop of players in the Championship becoming increasingly strong, picking someone to come in would be easy. Personally I would like Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel to join the ranks, especially considering his contract at the Foxes ends in the summer. If Tottenham were to go with an older option, who is out there? Do you pick someone like Shay Given (currently on loan at Middlesborough) who has had many a Premier League spell? Or do you pick someone of a higher calibre perhaps? However this raises financial implications as why spend big bucks for a benchwarmer?
The answer is clear. You fill the gap with a youngster, after all why put a first team keeper on the bench? Does this mean that Spurs will promote a keeper or simply raid the market for the next best young prospect. It’s a cracking debate and something that could raise plenty of opinion. That being said, leave a comment below with your view! Do we go out and picked our next number 2 or simply give Archer a go? I hope you’ve enjoyed my new article and make sure to check out my previous piece discussing the current form of Tim Sherwood’s Blue and White Army!