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Who to bring in when Friedel calls it a day?

We have said it before and we have said it again; To the Lane and Back does love Brad Friedel. Consistent in between the sticks and comfortable enough that the back-four need not panic when the ball is lumped into our box when, as Fergie put it, ‘squeekybumtime’ comes to promise. But, with the American now 40, he won’t last forever. Claire Needham analysed the situation and even gave a few names that could be bought in to replace Big Bad Brad when the inevitable happens.

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When watching Tottenham, they consistently have the potential to finish in the top four and compete in the Champions League once again. They play exciting, passing football and have a host of fantastic players, from the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart, but also a selection of English Internationals, including the combative Scott Parker and the marauding Kyle Walker.

By far the best decision Redknapp has made in recent years is bringing in Brad Friedel this season on a two-year contract. He has been exactly what the back four needs; a confident and experienced goalkeeper behind them. But what will happen when the Premiership veteran retires?

I think that Gomes will be sold in January, or even next summer, and anyway, if he was to stay he is not good enough as he is far too prone to making mistakes. Unusually, Tottenham don’t have an up and coming young keeper to be working with Friedel now and one who can step into his shoes. Also in Carlo Cudicini, while I do think he is a good goalkeeper, he is 38 now and since his motorbike accident I don’t think he can be a number one at a ‘big’ club.

Therefore Spurs are left with no choice but to go and buy someone. But, where do they look, the Lower leagues? Other Premier League clubs or abroad? And how much will they be willing to spend? They need to ensure that this is a long term investment and get someone young and of high quality so that this position is catered for long into the future.

As Friedel is due to be Spurs’ number one for another year, I am sure there will be plenty of names, both realistic and idealistic that will be thrown around and linked with the future number one jersey. Possible names could include German International Rene Adler of Bayer Leverkusen, Marseille’s Steve Mandanda, the French International or even Diego Lopez, Villareal’s current goalkeeper.

I know two years is a long time in football and while they have the money and the desire to get the best, who is really out there who is good enough and available to join the Spurs team? The most likely solution is I do not envisage Harry Redknapp being the Tottenham manager past 2012 and so whoever replaces him brings a goalkeeper from their previous club.

Claire Needham

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