Opinion: Why Nick Pope is the ideal replacement for Hugo Lloris at Spurs

Image: SpursWeb

Hugo Lloris has been an ever-present figure at Tottenham Hotspur over the last decade. Since his arrival in 2012, he has emerged as a leader, which contributed to him gaining the captain’s armband at the North London club in 2015, replacing Younes Kaboul.

Since then, Lloris has captained Spurs to a Champions League final, alongside a League Cup final in 2015. Whilst neither game had a successful outcome, the Frenchman will still undoubtedly go down as a Spurs legend.

Lloris has been a tremendous servant for the club, but he has also begun to show signs of wear and tear that has cost Spurs in recent months.

Mistakes have been evident in his performances throughout the years, therefore, it may be time to consider moving him on before his value completely freefalls.

If we are to consider selling the World-Cup winner, it is essential that we have a well-established, confident keeper to replace what would undoubtedly be a hole in our squad.

Jose Mourinho brought in Joe Hart in the summer to provide leadership and to implement a winning mentality into a Spurs squad that has always seemed to fall short.

However, what we have seen so far from the former England No.1 on the pitch has been underwhelming and, at times, a little worrying.

Therefore, it is essential that the replacement can fulfil a long-term role at the club. As well as this, they could become part of what will hopefully be a rebuilt backline in the coming few transfer windows.

In relation to who should replace Lloris, we need to look no further than Burnley. Nick Pope has built himself a glowing reputation over the last couple of seasons and has been a part of a Burnley team that seems to always somehow avoid relegation.

Sean Dyche joked in a press conference late in February that: “If they (Spurs) offered a bag of crisps, a pint of lager, in a pub, at the moment with the way things are going, I might be swayed. I might actually take it!” (football.london).

Debatably, it could cost Spurs less than originally anticipated for Pope. This is due to the fact that he would be entering the final two years of his contract in the summer.

However, there are many other reasons as to why this move makes sense…

Firstly, he is English. Usually, English players receive a lot of hype if they demonstrate even the slightest amount of ability, especially in the Premier League.

Interestingly though, Pope has recorded one of the highest save percentages of anyone in the top English division this season. The 28-year-old has a 77.7% save percentage in the league during the 20/21 campaign (fbref).

Throughout his four seasons at the northern club, Pope has faced over 430 shots, saving over 325, averaging around a 75% save percentage (fbref). In comparison to Lloris, over his nine seasons in the Premier League, he has recorded around a 72% save percentage (fbref).

This demonstrates that Pope clearly has the ability and potential to replace Lloris between the sticks.

As well as this, his nationality would mean there is space freed up within the squad to recruit more foreign assets (another Tanguy Ndombele or Heung-Min Son would be nice).

Furthermore, Pope is entering the peak years of his goalkeeping career. At 28 years old, you can argue that Pope could have at least a 5-year stint at Spurs. This would allow for development amongst younger keepers, or any recruits we bring in.

Undoubtedly, Lloris’ departure will leave many heavy hearts amongst the Spurs faithful. But, with the drafting of Pope, we could be in a stable situation for the foreseeable future.

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