Antonio Conte explains importance of Tottenham Hotspur ace Hugo Lloris in Watford victory and addresses contract showdown
Speaking in his post-match press conference, as quoted by football.london, Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte claimed that Hugo Lloris is a top player following his performance against Watford amidst contract uncertainty.
The Lilywhites started the New Year in good spirits as Davinson Sanchez secured all three points for us with an added-time winner against Watford. We were dictating the pace of the game and were quick to get to second balls.
The Hornets, too, had their moments. They left Lloris largely untested for the entirety of the first half, but the club captain was called into making a brilliant save in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. That indicated the level of focus the 34-year-old possesses despite being quiet for a large part of the game.
The Frenchman is, however, out of contract in the summer and could agree to a pre-contract with a foreign club in January. Conte addressed the situation after the game and heaped praise on the shot-stopper.
“Yeah, for sure, but you can see the level of the keeper in these circumstances. When for the whole game he (Lloris) didn’t make a save but he continued to be focused… When I speak with him and when I speak to the team, the link between the keeper and the team must be very important.
“The keeper has to follow the game and not only stay on the goal line to make saves. Hugo today showed that he is top, and he is always focused. For us, he is very important. And I am sure that in a short time, they can find a solution with the club because he loves Tottenham and Tottenham loves him.”
The French international kept his 8th clean sheet of the season after not allowing the Hornets to score in Saturday’s victory. To put this into perspective, only three more goalkeepers- Ederson, Allison, Aaron Ramsdale- have kept more clean sheets this season.
Thus, the club captain remains a top player and could only excel further under a manager like Conte. The Italian’s teams have prided themselves over top-notch defences, courtesy of which the former Lyon keeper could finally get the protection he deserves.
Moreover, we need a leader if we hope to win trophies in the coming years. The Harry Kane transfer saga in the summer did not go down well with supporters, and there may always be a doubt about him forcing to leave us again. Lloris, in turn, has remained loyal and is a massive voice in the dressing room.
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He is also one of the oldest players in the current squad. Thus, in a club that has been investing in young and exciting talent, it is important to retain experienced professionals. Regardless, Daniel Levy would be wise to hand the shot-stopper a contract extension if he continues pulling off such performances till the end of the season.
Moreover, that will buy us more time to look for a long-term, permanent solution for when he actually does. This is arguably the first time we are having to worry about who our number 1 goalkeeper would be in the long run since we signed Lloris from Lyon- and we need to address this situation with utmost care.