Tottenham v West Ham: Pictures
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Tottenham appear to be thinking ahead when it comes to replacing veteran goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Rather than go out and splash the cash, the Lilywhites may explore a solution that could see the vacancy filled without having to spend a penny – with youngster Brandon Austin having penned a new long-term deal.
Last summer, Spurs showed that they already have one eye on the day Lloris hangs up his gloves or moves on. Indeed, Pierluigi Gollini is a high-class back-up option and his arrival suggested that their resident Frenchman could see his spot come under threat this campaign.
That has not turned out to be the case, however, and his season-long loan deal seems unlikely to become permanent via a reported £13million option to buy. The 27-year-old was first choice with high-flying Atalanta over the past few seasons, but has not featured once in the Premier League since his summer switch.
The few chances given to Gollini have all been in cup competitions, and he has failed to make headlines while feeding off scraps. In light of their latest contract offering, Spurs appear to be eyeing up other avenues.
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On Tuesday, Tottenham took a decisive step regarding one of their own when they tied youngster Austin down to a new long-term deal. A social media statement read: “We are delighted to announce that goalkeeper Brandon Austin has signed a new contract with the Club, which will run until 2024. Congratulations, Brandon!”
At 6ft 2in tall and just 23-years-old, Austin is just coming into a physical and mental state that could see him given more first-team opportunities in north London. His loan spells have gradually improved in standard too, going from obscure Danish football in 2019 to the MLS with Orlando City last year.
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Austin was in and around England youth squads as a youngster and could be phased into a back-up role if Gollini makes way at the end of the season. A speedy improvement and maturing process would certainly be a favourable asset for Spurs, who may otherwise have to venture out into the transfer market to find a replacement.
Lloris has proven hard to displace for Spurs over the years, which seems natural for a ‘keeper who can boast a World Cup trophy – not to mention one that he won as France’s captain. Having been at the club for a decade, his 327-game haul puts him in the club’s top 10 appearance makers of all time.
But the Frenchman is 35-years-old and questions periodically pop up about his reliability and decision-making. It remains to be seen for how much longer Antonio Conte sees him as Spurs’ number one, and when he decides it is time to move on.
For now, Lloris’ focus will be on helping propel Tottenham towards a top-four finish. They are currently three points behind fourth-place Arsenal having played a game more, but based on Harry Kane’s gathering momentum and their respective run-ins, many have tipped the Lilywhites to close the gap and secure Champions League football for next season.
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