Tottenham Hotspur currently have no contingency plan for life after Hugo Lloris, though that appears as if it could now be changing…
According to the ever-reliable Phil Hay of The Athletic, the north Londoners have emerged as a likely destination for Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
“There is loads and loads of interest in Meslier. I do feel like he’s going to be one of Leeds’ most important and probably best players this season,” he told his podcast ‘The Phil Hay Show’.
“Tottenham are a side who are particularly interested in Meslier. And obviously, at some point, the goalkeeping situation is going to change there.”
Should Spurs sign Illan Meslier as Lloris’ successor?
At this early stage, it remains to be seen exactly how much a move for the 22-year-old would cost the Lilywhites, though CIES Football Observatory currently value him at £34m, just over two years after his £5m move from FC Lorient.
Hugo Lloris’ true heir
Whilst there are no signs of the 35-year-old club captain hanging up his gloves anytime soon, it would make the world of sense to start looking for his replacement and Meslier could be the dream target, and not just because of the French connection.
Fraser Forster, formerly of Southampton, was signed as a free agent to become the veteran’s no.2 but he is unlikely to ever become the main man at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, given he is in the twilight years of his career too.
At just 22, the 6 foot 6 titan has had a couple of seasons as first-choice in the Premier League and has proven his worth to the Yorkshiremen in abundance.
Last season, the French colossus led the top-flight for saves (3.70 per 90), having faced more shots on target (5.72 per 90) than any other goalkeeper to start more than 15 league games, as per FBref.
Lloris was a bit behind with 2.5 shots saved per 90 from 3.5 shots on target against but Leeds are a much weaker team defensively, so the young French phenom was always going to get more traffic. It’s just positive to see him deal with it at a success rate of 65.6%.
Meslier clearly looks up to his fellow countryman as well, having lauded him as “fantastic” and “maybe the greatest goalkeeper in France in history” during one interview with Sky Sports back in May.
Meanwhile, the Leeds star has been acknowledged as a “massive goalkeeping talent” with “vast” potential by the aforementioned Hay before, as well as a “big talent” by scout jacek kulig.
The £100k-per-week shot-stopper, who has been lauded as a “legend” at the club, isn’t going to be around forever, so sporting director Fabio Paratici must look to seal a move for Meslier in the future as he could well be the real heir to his throne in N17.
If Spurs can sign him in the next couple of windows, then there is time for the young Frenchman to be a true understudy to the man he believes is one of the best to ever do it, and that will only pay dividends for Spurs in the long run.