Tottenham have given USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel the opportunity to continue to play in the Premier League for the next two seasons. But at 40 years of age is this really the best option for Tottenham? After all there were alternatives that could have offered Premier League experience, but also a longer period of time to maintain consistency. The move for Friedel on a two year contract suggests that Tottenham feel the player can play until he is 42.
The American does offer experience and he is still an excellent goalkeeper with a high level of consistency. There is continued speculation over current Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and this signing seems to suggest that the Brazilian will be playing his football elsewhere next season. It seems unlikely that Friedel would join a club at this stage in his career where he isn’t going be first choice.
Although, some may argue that there are younger goalkeepers out there – the bottom line is Spurs probably feel that they can rely on the American. After some of the mistakes Gomes has made they probably wouldn’t have wanted to take a chance on another goalkeeper that may not adept to the Premier League. Tottenham may also look over at Manchester United and recall the performances of Edwin van der Sar this season – the Dutchman may be retiring but clearly can still play at a high level at 40 years of age.
As an alternative to Friedel, Tottenham could have looked at Manchester City shot stopper Shay Given – who would appear to be available because he is behind Joe Hart for a starting place. At 35, he would appear to have more years to offer than Friedel, but we don’t know how fit he is after all he hasn’t been playing and has also had some serious injuries of late. Playing games allows a player to stay fit and perhaps could prolong their career.
Time will tell if this is the right signing for Tottenham and ideally you would want a player that could offer 4 to 5 years of service. Clearly Friedel cannot offer that, but he does bring experience and quality of the highest level to the table. Now if Tottenham are smart they will now look for a top quality young goalkeeper and aim to bring him into the club this summer. That way they can learn off one of the very best Premier League goalkeepers and be that step ahead when they take over from Friedel. It will also be interesting to see if Tottenham keep Friedel around after his retirement in some sort of coaching role.
So have Tottenham made the right decision on Friedel? Follow me on Twitter and let me know.