Tottenham Hotspur‘s sights are set on finding a successor to the long-serving Hugo Lloris and a surprising name has emerged as a potential target…
What’s the word?
According to Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb, Lilywhites boss Antonio Conte is very interested in Juventus‘ £10m goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and would like to bring him back to north London, some five years after leaving arch-rivals Arsenal.
The Poland international – who is in line to start at the World Cup this week – is out of contract in the summer of 2024 and it’s thought that the Old Lady aren’t willing to offer him an extension at this moment in time, meaning he could even be sold.
That’s because the Serie A giants have already lined up Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario as his replacement. However, it remains to be seen exactly how much the 32-year-old would command, with his current value in the region of €20m (£18m), per CIES Football Observatory.
Szczesny was a divisive figure for the Gunners throughout his 11-year association with the club – some considered him a fan-favourite but others thought he was something of a “liability“.
He eventually lost his place to David Ospina because of his erratic nature between the sticks.
Indeed, former Juve great Stefano Tacconi slammed the Pole for his performances whilst on loan to AS Roma. He said to Gazzetta TV (via the Independent): “He’s a good goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that,” before adding: “But he’s an uncontrollable lunatic – he’s completely mad. And for this reason, he’s a risk.”
The 6 foot 5 veteran has certainly turned things around as he has now been the no.1 at the Allianz Stadium for a little over four years, replacing the legendary Gigi Buffon, and is set to feature at his second World Cup and fifth major international tournament.
That evolution is probably best surmised by Spurs’ current sporting director Fabio Paratici, who was the man to bring Szczesny to Juventus. He once described the shot-stopper as ” one of the best goalkeepers in the world” to reporters in 2020.
As per FBref, the former Arsenal graduate has the second-best save percentage (85.7%) of any keeper in the Serie A this season, and has conceded the fewest goals per 90 (0.35) of any glovesman too.
Whilst Lloris will always be remembered as a “legend” for his devotion to Spurs, there’s no denying that some of his own displays have been questionable the older he has gotten and at 35, it certainly would be wise to plan for life after the £100k-per-week stalwart.
Szczesny may be a controversial signing but Paratici has got it right with several questionable signings from the Italian top-flight, where both Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were heavily out-of-sorts.
The former foe could therefore be a surprise successor to Lloris, if Conte’s interest is genuine.
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