Jose Mourinho has thrown a big hint that Joe Hart will be Hugo Lloris’ man understudy next season by admitting that he expects Tottenham’s new signing to push the Frenchman for the starting spot.
Paulo Gazzaniga stepped up last season when Lloris missed several months of action with a dislocated elbow.
However, with Hart’s arrival, the 28-year-old’s position as the club’s second-choice goalkeeper is in doubt, with reports even linking him with a potential move to Fulham (Telegraph).
Mourinho has now praised Hart and suggested that a move back to a top club like Spurs might be just what the former England shot-stopper needs to rekindle his old form.
When asked what the experienced goalkeeper will bring to the side, the Spurs boss said in an interview with FootballJOE: “Joe is one of the top goalkeepers of last decade in the country. He started very early in a big club like City and playing for the national team. 75 caps (for England), so he has all the experience.
“I think a negative episode a few years ago marked his career for the past three or four years because it is not easy to leave a champion club and then go into clubs of another dimension. So, now he has the chance to be back at a club like us.”
“Of course, Hugo is our captain. Hugo is the world champion captain. He’s a phenomenal goalkeeper and very important in our group but I think Joe will give him the hard competition we need.”
The 57-year-old also admitted that the short break between the seasons has complicated matters ahead of the new campaign.
When asked if Tottenham’s preparations have been affected, he said: “I think it is a real struggle but I think it is the same for everybody. So we cannot say we have this problem but the other clubs who compete against us are in a privileged situation. It is the same for everybody.
“Also the national teams. Two matches in the week before the Premier League starts is something really really complicated for all of us. But as I was saying, it was for all of us. So, it is difficult for all but we have to adapt.”
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Listening to the way Jose speaks about Hart, I suspect that we will see the former Man City one being used as Lloris’ main back up, with Gazzaniga likely being restricted to Carabao Cup matches or even sold. While I certainly believe Hart can be a positive influence on the dressing room, the prospect of him being our number two is not one that fills me with confidence, given his struggles at West Ham and Burnley.
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