According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur have made Nick Pope a top transfer target ahead of the summer window…
What’s the word?
It’s claimed that the England international is their first-choice candidate to succeed the long-serving Hugo Lloris in north London, though they face competition from rivals West Ham.
The French veteran will enter the final year of his current contract at the end of the season and is thought to be a target for former boss Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain.
Should Spurs replace Lloris with Pope?
Burnley reportedly value their 28-year-old goalkeeper in the region of £30m.
Football Insider have also reported this week that Spurs could sign two new goalkeepers in the summer as they desire a potential new no.1 and a reliable back-up option.
In the summer before his fateful sacking, ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino warned supporters that a “painful” rebuild was needed, and you could argue that the same still applies to this day, as much of the same plethora of players and deadwood still remain at the club.
Only two new signings have come in and cemented their place amongst Mourinho’s starting XI – Sergio Reguilon and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but the likes of Erik Lamela and Danny Rose are still under contract.
And then there are plenty of question marks surrounding the consistency of players like Lloris, Serge Aurier, Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko – all of these players have been in north London a very long time and should be moved on sooner rather than later.
As described in the Daily Mail earlier this month, Mourinho ‘still has plenty of deadwood to clear out before this Spurs team is shaped into his mould,’ which merely backs up claims from former top-flight defender Alan Hutton, who claimed they would need a “few” summer windows to resolve this mess to Football Insider back in March 2020.
Evidently, a rebuild is needed and starting between the sticks is a wise place to start, regardless of whether the 34-year-old stays or goes.
Lloris has come under increasing pressure over the past 18 months or so as he frequently has a mistake or two in him – most recently during their FA Cup defeat to Everton, a game in which he conceded a whopping five goals, he was slammed by numerous pundits.
Trevor Sinclair called him “lettuce wrists,” echoing the thoughts of Rio Ferdinand, who dubbed the experienced star “weak” and “embarrassing,” via talkSPORT.
Meanwhile, Pope has proven to be a more reliable option, so much so that Jurgen Klopp hailed him as “sensational.”
The Clarets ‘keeper tops the charts for save percentage (80.6%), even above clean-sheet king Ederson, which far exceeds that of Lloris (76.9%) and is even more impressive considering Pope faces nearly one more shot than the Spurs man each outing, via FBRef.
Pope also ranks first in the Premier League for post-shot expected goals, when removing the actual number of attempts conceded, which means he is displaying an incredible ability to stop the ball from finding its way in, in comparison to the rest of the league. Lloris is lingering behind in fifth place for this metric, also via FBRef.
Earlier in the campaign, the Burnley sensation was unlucky to not keep a clean sheet against Spurs as he had silenced Harry Kane all afternoon – he made two saves and enjoyed one successful run-out, thwarting his international teammate, who had a total of four shots that day, as per SofaScore.
Mourinho’s defensive problems are well-documented, as individual errors constantly let the side down, so adding a player as impressive as Pope should restore some stability to that inconsistent backline, which is why Spurs must begin their rebuild with the 6 foot 3 colossus.
It’s time to wave goodbye to the deadwood and bring through a new breed to elevate the club onto the next level under Mourinho.
Pope would be a mouth-watering and exciting way to kickstart exactly that.