With the release of Danny Rose this summer, Hugo Lloris will become one of the longest-serving players within the Tottenham Hotspur squad, but his future is at crossroads ahead of his ninth season.
The Frenchman will enter the final 12 months on his contract in North London this month, with reports stating that he is opened to exploring a departure from Spurs this summer.
If the news about Harry Kane willing to leave the club received a tremendous amount of backlash towards the Spurs hierarchy on social media, then Lloris potential departure could ruin any future relationship between supporters and Daniel Levy.
After a dismal season, finishing as low as seventh, qualifying for the lowest-ranked European Competition, and still, without a manager, Spurs need to show ambition over the summer to persuade their key players to stay at the club, including Lloris.
Lloris joined the North London club from Lyon in 2012 for £11.8m and has made 298 appearances in the Premier League – one behind Darren Anderton, who holds the most appearances for the club in Premier League history.
In his fifth seasons at the club, the 34-year-old was handed the captain armband in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in 2015. He has since managed 104 clean sheets in the Premier League, conceding 319 goals in 298 games.
However, at the age of 34, the World Cup winner has one final pay-day left, and with Spurs in the midst of a rebuild, Lloris might look to end his eight-year career in North London.
A standout campaign
With Lloris ageing, Levy might sense an opportunity to cash in on the Frenchman, especially if he’s reluctant to sign a new contract, but the past season has highlighted that he’s still at the top of his game.
Lloris had the third-highest save percentage (75.7%) in the Premier League this season and still managed 12 clean sheets in the last campaign – fourth-highest in the Premier League - despite Spurs experiencing defensive problems throughout the season.
The 2019/20 season saw some mistakes creep into Lloris’ play and started speculation among Spurs supporters that he was not the goalkeeper he once uses to be, but the last eight months portrayed why Lloris was regarded as one of the best.
He pulled out a stellar performance against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final in April, keeping the scores level until the 80th minute and, more importantly, giving Spurs a chance of nicking a goal, although that never happened.
While on the pitch he has been an influential figure, Lloris took his role as a captain to another level last season, not showing any remorse to his team-mate and holding the club to account.
As shown when Spurs were embarrassingly knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, describing it as a ‘disgrace’, and everyone in the changing should feel responsible.
Spurs lack leadership within the squad, as mentioned by Kane in his interview with Gary Neville last month when he said the club “lacked leaders” to thrive under Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed after 18 months in April.
So, selling Lloris – one of the very few players to win a major trophy in the squad – would further establish that problem at Spurs.
However, if the Frenchman wants to leave and the club can still get a substantial fee, then parting ways could make sense this summer, but who are the potential replacements.
When looking around Europe, they’re few goalkeepers that could replace Lloris’ ability in-between the sticks.
Sam Johnstone could be a potential option for Spurs after West Brom Albion were relegated this season and could be a relatively cheap replacement with the West Midlands club reportedly asking for £20m.
The recent England debutant produced the most saves in the Premier League last season with 161, 16 more than any other goalkeeper, and had a save percentage of 70.6% despite facing the most shots on target.
Spurs could also turn their attention towards his fellow International team-mate, Nick Pope, who has been a constant performer in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons for Burnley, having the highest save percentage out of all 20 goalkeepers.
However, one important element that both goalkeepers lack is experience and leadership mentality at the top of the Premier League, which Lloris possesses plenty of.
Overall, the decision is clear in my eyes. If Lloris wants to stay at the club for another year without extending his contract, then Spurs hierarchy should just accept that this summer and take time to on his potential replacement over the next 12 months. Not cash in on him due to the potential of leaving on a free transfer next summer, and make a panic decision in signing another goalkeeper.
At the moment, Spurs are in desperate need of rejuvenating the back-line after some disastrous performance this season but selling Lloris would just make that rebuild that even harder, especially on limited funds.
Lloris has been an outstanding servant for the club in the last eight years, staying in North London despite proposals from European giants. So, he deserves respect from the club if he decides not to extend his contract, not being sold to capitalise on a little bit of money.