Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent has admitted that he thought Jose Mourinho had made a “strange” decision in starting Hugo Lloris against Norwich City on Wednesday.
The French goalkeeper had been out with an elbow injury which he sustained in their defeat against Brighton back in October and had missed 15 Premier League games in a row (Transfermarkt).
Mourinho told journalist Charlie Eccleshare just last week that Lloris wouldn’t be back until early February, so it was certainly a surprise to see him back in the starting 11 ahead of schedule when they faced the Canaries.
His return certainly caught Bent off guard and he has admitted that he thinks it is strange that the 33-year-old has been thrown back in so quickly following what was a nasty injury – especially for a goalkeeper.
Speaking about Lloris’ return to the team sheet against Norwich, Bent told Football Insider: “It’s surprising, but if Gazzaniga had played a little better and more consistent in the games, I don’t think it would have been that much of a discussion.
“People would have been like: ‘Well, that’s fair enough,’ but because he’s been a bit indifferent – he had that first game against Liverpool where he was outstanding but he’s made mistakes and crazy decisions.
“For me, it is a strange one but at the same time, hopefully that arm’s healed because that was a big, big injury.”
It certainly was a shock to see Lloris replace Gazzaniga on Wednesday evening for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, as Bent said, it was a bad injury which the World Cup-winning shot-stopper had picked up, so you would have thought that they would have waited until February to bring him back and not rush things.
Added to that, Gazzaniga had a very good game in their previous outing against Watford on Saturday. He kept a clean sheet at Vicarage Road and saved a penalty from Troy Deeney (BBC Sport), so he would have been full of confidence heading into the Norwich game.
Thankfully, Lloris did come through the game unscathed and everyone associated with Spurs will certainly be delighted to see their number one back. In his absence, the team has kept just a couple of clean sheets in the league (Transfermarkt), so they will hope that his return will make them a little more solid at the back.
Spurs fans, were you surprised to see Hugo Lloris playing against Norwich? And do you think that Paulo Gazzaniga deserved to be dropped? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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