“Please don’t leave Hugo!” came the high-pitched cry from behind me as the final whistle blew last Saturday at White Hart Lane. As I turned, there was a young kid sat upon his father’s shoulders with a disappointed look on his face that said ‘what do you mean Santa’s not real?’. Similarly enough the same look was etched across our French goalkeeper’s face, but his said ‘We’ve just drawn at home to Stoke, after being 2-0 up on my 100th appearance’.
And I don’t blame him.
This has been the liveliest window so far in talk of a transfer for Hugo Lloris. The seemingly imminent departure of David De Gea to Real Madrid could see the start of a domino effect which may lead to Daniel Levy’s negotiating skills being tested one more time.
This isn’t just about keeping a good player. Oh no, there are so many implications past just losing a decent goalkeeper;
It’s about making a statement.
‘Spurs aren’t a selling club’. The puzzling sentence that comes from the powers behind the scenes probably about a week before we end up selling our best player. Currently, Lloris is the only international captain we have at the club. Not the first though; Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Dimitar Berbatov… Sold, sold, sold! These are the players who lead other players – they’ve got experience on the biggest stage and you can never have too many of them.
It’s about attracting players
This is something we’ve benefited from recently – as shown in our sudden influx of Belgian internationals, all strengthening the team. Players want to play with the best. They want to proudly stand alongside winners and be confident that, when the chance comes, whomever it falls to has the experience, talent, and bottle to take it! Can we afford to lose players like Hugo Lloris if we’re going to gatecrash the “Premier League top 4 party” anytime soon?
It’s about building a team
The other side of the coin of course, is not losing players. When they walk into the changing room at the start of the season, they want to know the best players are still going to be sat there come the end of the transfer window – otherwise they’ll be thinking about their own options.
If Pochettino is serious about building a team for the future here at Spurs, he’ll be moving mountains with Levy and the board to make sure players like Hugo stick around a little longer than in previous years.
To be honest, after all the high-profile talk of goalkeepers’ transfers in the last few months - I don’t expect Hugo to leave. But it’s important he doesn’t - not just for the rest of the team, but the club and its future.
It also means we’ll have to endure Michel Vorm all season. I wonder if Espen Baardsen’s busy at the moment?