Spurs edged ever closer to some much-needed silverware on Tuesday night as they emerged 1-0 victors over Chelsea in a tight first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and, after a stoic performance between the sticks, there is a strong argument for Paulo Gazzaniga to start ahead of captain Hugo Lloris against Manchester United this weekend.
If there’s one thing that Lloris hasn’t really had to deal with during his time at Spurs, it’s competition for the number 1 shirt; in Gazzaniga, though, Mauricio Pochettino has another viable option who has continued to impress when given the nod.
The Argentine has made just eight appearances in all competitions this season but has let in just five goals, keeping an impressive four clean sheets – the most recent of which being against London rivals, Chelsea.
Following his exploits against the Blues, including some smart saves, the 27-year-old was voted as man of the match by Spurs fans, who clearly feel he’s got what it takes. Could he step in for Lloris against United this weekend?
This fixture is unlikely to follow the same path as it did previously – Spurs beat United 3-0 at Old Trafford when Mourinho was at the helm – as Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer won’t afford the Lilywhites anywhere near as much breathing room as his predecessor did and will surely attack from the off.
Spurs will most likely have less time on the ball as they did previously and will perhaps look to hit their opponents on the counter more frequently – Gazzaniga has better distribution than Lloris overall and this could be key if the home side want to hit the Red Devils on the break effectively.
Aside from his ability with the ball at his feet, the former Southampton man has proved that he can perform against big teams on big stages and this could be the game on which the balance shifts, in Pochettino’s mind, as to who his number one truly is.
It would certainly be a huge call for Pochettino to drop World Cup winner Lloris, but he will be applauded if the gamble proves effective.
What do you think, Spurs fans? Can Gazzaniga replace Lloris in net? Let us know by voting in the poll below…