Hugo Lloris: Everything Spurs Fans Need To Know About Their New Keeper
A few years back, the Premier League was famous abroad for its lack of decent goalkeepers. Peter Schmeichel was probably the only world class keeper in the league at the turn of the millennium. Since then, this negligence has been considerably improved by the top teams. Van Der Sar, Cech, Reina, Hart or De Gea came from abroad to fill in the gap.
Astonishingly, Arsenal and Tottenham haven’t been able to lure a keeper of this standing to their den for ages. They still achieved fair results with goalkeepers being laughed at every so often. This summer, strengthening their last defensive rampart seems to be on the agenda of both chairmen. A sign of a never fading rivalry pushed them toward the same player…
Hugo Lloris is officially on the market this summer, that’s what Jean-Michel Aulas said. He also declared in his greedy fashion that he wants 20M€ for his captain, not a penny less. Apparently whoever seals the deal will probably benefit from a 20% discount to be compensated in various unclear bonuses. Anyway, 15M€ or more is a lot of money, an amount you rarely see for a goalkeeper. That would actually rank Lloris at the 4th position on the most expensive goalkeeper chart of all time (behind Buffon, Neuner and De Gea). Is he really worth it?
Arsenal and Tottenham are finally trying to seriously strengthen their last defensive rampart this summer. A sign of a never fading rivalry pushed them toward the same player.
Hugo Lloris was born in Nice in 1986, naturally he signed for the main local club as soon as his talent was scouted. He was 10 years old. Quickly noticed as a future number 1, he was a regular starter in all the youth national squads you can imagine: U16, U18, U19 (claiming a European title in this category), U20 and U21. He was only aged 19 when he was included in the professional team as a replacement to the more experienced Damien Gregorini. During his first season, he led his club to an unexpected league cup final and made his first appearance in the Ligue 1 the day after he signed his first professional contract (in March 2006).
Enough was shown to turn him into the number one goalkeeper at the club, pushing two players with hundreds of games in the league on the bench (Damien Gregorini and Lionel Letizi). He spent the two following seasons between the local posts, helping his club to overachieving finishes in the league.
With the summer 2008 approaching and Gregory Coupet leaving for Madrid, Lyon then still on the top of French football, was looking for a classy keeper to assure as many clean sheets as possible. Nice and Lyon agreed on a 9M€ fee (then a goalkeeper record in France). His first game at the club was a summary of the things to come at club level for Lloris.
He was simply brilliant; saving everything he had to save against hungry Bordeaux strikers.
On this day, during the trophée des champions (French Charity shield), he was simply brilliant; saving everything he had to save against hungry Bordeaux strikers. Unfortunately, the team lost a trophy it had been holding for 6 years after a penalty shootout.
Similarly, he would pile up the congratulations and individual distinctions while his club failed to win anything with the exception of the French cup in 2012. He most famously discouraged Cristiano Ronaldo and the Real Madrid armada in a Champions League quarter final in 2010 and pushed the giant out of the tournament way earlier than scheduled. A few weeks later, abandoned by his ageing defense, he conceded three goals to the Bavarian forwards, missing on a Champions League final.
In parallel of a frustrating club experience, he gained international experience through the national squad. He gained his first cap shortly after joining Lyon, in November 2008 for a friendly game against Uruguay during which he kept his net motionless. He has since then been the first choice for both Raymond Domenech and his successor Laurent Blanc. He only missed a couple of games due to a red card conceded against Serbia in 2009 (making him the first ever French goalkeeper to be sent off with the blue jersey on).
Acclaimed for his technique, both in the air and on the ground, he managed the great performance of being the only player involved in the South African fiasco of 2010 not to be put in doubt for the future of the national side.
Acclaimed for his technique, both in the air and on the ground, he managed the great performance of being the only player involved in the South African fiasco of 2010 not to be put in doubt for the future of the national side. The fact was accomplished with even more style when new manager Blanc offered him the captain armband a few games into his mandate.
Now aged 25, he can proudly display over 200 league games, 40 Champions League games, 37 caps and 3 Ligue 1 goalkeeper of the year awards on his record sheet. All these stats are lying alongside a very lonely piece of silverware, shared between his team, in the name of the 2012 French cup.
Right now seems to be the perfect time for a move to a more challenging club and a more challenging league. Arsenal started the negotiations first but Tottenham seem to now have the edge on this folder despite their absence in the upcoming Champions league. Basically, they just have to show Aulas the wads of notes and Lloris will be defending White Hart Lane’s goals.
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