Tottenham supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side go down 3-1 at home to newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their meeting with the Citizens having won each of their last six league matches, a run which has propelled them into a healthy position to secure Champions League football again next season. Yet the North London outfit were comfortably second-best at Wembley on Saturday as goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan, and Raheem Sterling secured a routine success for Pep Guardiola’s side, with Christian Eriksen’s effort just before half time giving Spurs some hope, but ultimately not enough to inspire a second half comeback.
As such, there have been many disappointed Tottenham fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom have already forgotten about Saturday’s result and are instead focusing on this evening’s clash with Chris Hughton’s Brighton.
Yet much of the discussion among our resident Spurs supporters in recent times has been revolving around the form of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who made his third error in as many matches on Saturday in bringing down Sterling for a penalty, albeit the foul wasn’t inside the box.
And several of those Tottenham fans lining up at the bar are speculating upon who Pochettino should seek to land to replace the Frenchman, with Burnley’s Nick Pope the man many have been seriously impressed with this season.
Ultimately, very few around the country would have heard of the 25-year-old prior to this season, what with fellow Englishman Tom Heaton holding down the number one jersey at Turf Moor in past seasons, and thus very much staking a claim for a regular England spot.
However, injury to Heaton gave Pope the opportunity he has been waiting for back in September against Crystal Palace, and the former Charlton Athletic shot-stopper has seized it with both hands by producing several impressive displays between the sticks for the Clarets, in turn helping them to the third best defensive record in the Premier League.
And while Dyche’s backline must take some credit for those numbers, Pope has certainly played as big a part as any, making key saves in victories over Everton, Newcastle, and Southampton earlier in the season, and indeed against the likes of West Ham, Watford, and of course Leicester in recent times as well.
And his meteoric rise continued in being named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for recent friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, and while Pope didn’t feature in either games, it’s clear that he is very much in Southgate’s thoughts ahead of the World Cup, what with the number one jersey far from settled.
Thus, it’s clear that Pope has demonstrated all the credentials to be a hugely adept goalkeeper at Premier League level, and given he is English and still relatively young in goalkeeping terms, he could flourish under Pochettino, who is renowned for giving English talent a chance in the first team.
And with Lloris seeming to struggle in recent weeks, yet Pope continuing to go from strength to strength, the £4.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) could be the perfect long-term replacement for the 31-year-old at Tottenham.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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