When the transfer window slammed shut back in august, Tottenham Hotspur fans were once again left disappointed with our final day activity, having come close to signing Joao Moutinho and failing to land a much-needed striker. One man who did make the trip across the channel, however, was Lyon shot stopper and French captain Hugo Lloris.
I’ll be honest, I was pleased to sign a highly rated goalkeeper who came with an excellent reputation, but I didn’t really appreciate how much we needed him at the time, with the excellent Brad Friedel being one of the only positives in our first two games.
It appeared Lloris joined on the premise he would be our first choice goalkeeper, but dropping Friedel would’ve been harsh and Andre Villas-Boas rightly continued deploying the American as first choice between the sticks. Lloris watched on as Friedel was by far and away our best player on the day in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Norwich. Had it not been for the 41-year-old, Norwich would’ve won the game rather convincingly. Lloris knew he would have to be patient.
However, when Lloris did get his opportunity, he has never looked back. A clean sheet on his debut in the Europa League clash against Lazio was followed up with another in his league debut against Villa a few weeks later. Despite sticking his nose in a bit too much, Didier Deschamps was not wrong when he stated how valuable an asset Lloris would be to Spurs.
The Frenchman was evidently a great shot stopper, but it has been his rapid speed when coming off his line that has often thwarted the opposition. While he also takes the continental method of punching the ball, the height and distance at which he clears the danger means there is no need for him to catch it. He is clearly a confident individual off the pitch and that is certainly having an impact in his positive performances on it.
After his most disappointing display to date in the 5-2 reverse at Arsenal, Lloris followed this up by conceding just four goals in December, narrowly missing out on a Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award to the unstoppable Robin van Persie.
Llrois is quickly becoming one of the most highly regarded keepers in the league and I would go as far to say that I would not swap him for any other keeper in the premier league on current form. City’s Joe Hart has struggled to reach the heights of last season; Petr Cech hasn’t looked anywhere near as convincing as previous campaigns, while the likes of Spanish duo David De Gea and Pepe Reina are always prone to making an error.
The likes of Lloris, Mignolet and Begovic have certainly led the way in terms of best goalkeeper in the 2012/2013 campaign, with the latter being courted by Manchester United.
At just 26 years of age, Lloris still has the best years of his career in front of him. It’s hard to imagine too many ways that he can improve his performances of this season, but if he does; Lloris could not only become one of the best goalkeepers Tottenham fans have seen, but could be well up there as one of the best shot stoppers the Premier League has ever witnessed.