This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Darren Bent is worried that Tottenham Hotspur could lose Paulo Gazzaniga if Hugo Lloris is restored to the starting XI after his injury, per Football Insider.
The former Southampton goalkeeper has been deputising for the Frenchman in recent games, with Lloris ruled out until 2020 with an elbow injury.
He has impressed in that time, too, as he made 12 saves at Anfield as Spurs lost 2-1 to Liverpool and also kept a clean sheet in Serbia during their 4-0 thumping of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.
In total, Gazzaniga has made eight appearances in all competitions and Bent fears that he could look to leave if he is immediately benched once the World Cup winner returns to full fitness.
He said: “I get Lloris is his first choice, he’s been a great goalkeeper for many years now but at some stage, you start to get over the hill. If he’s at that point, I’m not sure, but his form, the mistakes he’s been making, would suggest potentially yes.
“I’m sure that’s a worry for Pochettino because yes, he likes Lloris, but you don’t want another team to come and get Gazzaniga because there are several teams in the league at the minute that would love a goalkeeper like him.”
Bent is spot on here and Pochettino has potentially sleepwalked into something of a conundrum.
Of course, the entire top six has a first-choice goalkeeper and a back-up, but it becomes difficult when the latter becomes the former purely because circumstances have changed.
It has to be said that Gazzaniga has been excellent since his introduction and has done exactly what he has needed to do to retain the shirt; his performance against Liverpool alone was world-class.
There is, obviously, a lot of football still to be played in 2019 and Pochettino could well reach a point in January where the reintroduction of Lloris makes sense.
But in his performances at the start of the season, he made two errors leading to goals; only Southampton defender Jan Bednarek has made more. Gazzaniga has yet to make one.
On that basis alone, he should keep the shirt, even when the Frenchman returns to contention. Should that fail to take place, Gazzaniga jumping ship to a Premier League rival is a distinct possibility.