Paulo Gazzaniga has emerged as genuine competition to Tottenham Hotspur’s first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in recent months.
Gazzaniga, signed from Southampton to provide back-up to the Frenchman, has been so impressive in north London that the club have actually released Michel Vorm, the former Swansea City stopper.
The 27-year-old made a total of 11 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19, three of which came in the Premier League.
But is the 6 foot 5 shot-stopper actually likely to ever become the club’s No.1?
Fans on Twitter appear to believe that he could usurp Lloris but do the statistics actually stack up?
One must consider that his sample size is, obviously, smaller than that of his team-mate but it is nonetheless enlightening.
Per WhoScored, in his three Premier League games, he made an average of 3.7 saves. 2.3 of those in the penalty area.
By comparison, Lloris made a total of 33 appearances and made, on average, three saves.
Two of those came in the penalty area, a lower stat than Gazzaniga, while 0.9 came from outside the box. He also makes just 0.2 saves per game from shots inside the six-yard box but there are no statistics on Gazzaniga’s saves in such an area.
Lloris makes more errors than his team-mate but there is obviously a point to be made that he simply plays more often.
Nevertheless, Gazzaniga’s statistics are strong and he was only on the losing side once in the Premier League, in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City where he made multiple quality saves.
There can be absolutely no harm in leaving Lloris out for a few matches, even if it just to remind him that his deputy exists.
Spurs’ defence is strong enough to cope whether the France international is behind them or not.
And heightening the pressure on the 32-year-old could be something of a masterstroke from manager Mauricio Pochettino.
It is a win-win: Gazzaniga has the chance to prove his worth and Lloris has all the motivation needed to reclaim his place as the club’s best goalkeeper.