In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Tottenham Hotspur once had a goalkeeper by the name of Pau Lopez on the club’s books, albeit very briefly and not permanently either.
Spurs had announced the signing of the then-Espanyol shot-stopper on a season-long loan deal back on deadline day in the summer of 2016, with the option to buy him at the end of the campaign according to the Catalan outfit’s website, much to the dismay of many of the club’s supporters.
A number of them had criticised Tottenham for bringing the Spanish youngster to the club, questioning the north London outfit as to why they felt it was necessary to bring in a third choice ‘keeper to play as a back-up to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, while others were fuming the Premier League outfit did not work harder on getting a player in a position they deemed a ‘priority’ instead.
Indeed, here are just some of the reactions those particular set of fans made to the club on their Twitter account following Lopez’s arrival…
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 31, 2016
well alright then
— Jake. (@YedIin) August 31, 2016
— Theo Theodorou (@theotheodorou) August 31, 2016
now sign someone who can improve our starting 11 please!!!!
— Steve Pilborough (@stevepilborough) August 31, 2016
— Emre (@Dxnnyrose) August 31, 2016
— Robert Clowes (@ClowesR) August 31, 2016
what a pointless signing. Deadline day 3rd keeper. What a crock!
— Taylor Richardson (@BigTSpoon22) August 31, 2016
honestly can’t understand why we have signed him makes no sense we have 2 quality keepers
— Tony (@daden86) August 31, 2016
Of course, hindsight can be a wonderful and brilliant thing at times, while it can also be something of an unnecessary evil when a case of ‘what could have been’ is presented and, indeed, Lopez certainly falls into the latter of the two categories where Spurs are concerned.
Never going on to feature for Tottenham’s senior side under Mauricio Pochettino (Transfermarkt), fans would quite rightly have means to question just why he was brought in and perhaps would have had reservations about the quality the Spaniard possessed at the time. If he is not being handed minutes, then surely he can’t be good enough, right?
However, after letting him leave White Hart Lane at the end of his loan spell, Lopez showed Spurs just how wrong they were to allow him to depart without trying to make him theirs permanently.
Now 24 years old and a Spain international, the £18m-rated goalkeeper has become a top-quality ‘keeper and one that knows how to keep the ball out of the back of his net.
In his 78 appearances for Espanyol (including one season after his time in England), Lopez managed to keep a total of 19 clean sheets, conceding just 110 goals in the process (Transfermarkt). A move to La Liga rivals Real Betis shortly followed, where he featured 35 times, keeping 10 clean sheets with 49 efforts getting past him.
One season at the Seville-based outfit was enough to see him move to AS Roma this summer for a reported €23.5m (£20.9m), where he has been made their number one, although his figures could perhaps be a little better as he has conceded nine goals in seven games, with two clean sheets so far (TransferMarkt).
However, with Lloris making costly errors recently and Tottenham finding it difficult to keep the ball out of their own net at the moment (his last clean sheet came against Crystal Palace), Lopez could well have been the answer to their problems.
As mentioned, the Spaniard is still only 24 but he has shown plenty of promise throughout his career and appears to have been fulfilling some of his potential, particularly after his less than fruitful spell in north London.
Fans may have been right to question who Lopez was when he first arrived, but they might be in a position now whereby they wish they had someone like him standing tall in between the frame of the goal for Pochettino’s Tottenham side – a player who subsequently decided against rejoining Spurs in 2018 (ABC de Sevilla via talkSPORT).
Tottenham fans, do you still share the same opinion of Lopez as you did then? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!
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