Former England defender Danny Mills has hailed the “incredible” work ethic of recent Tottenham signing Joe Hart and described Jose Mourinho’s decision to bring him as a “smart signing”.
The 33-year-old was released by Burnley this summer before moving to north London and, despite struggling for game-time at Turf Moor, Mills thinks that Pep Guardiola’s decision to jettison him from Manchester City in 2016 was misguided, adding that Spurs’ acquisition of the goalkeeper will help to meet homegrown quota requirements.
Speaking to Football Insider about Hart, the ex-Leeds defender said: “Without a doubt that is a smart signing.
“I said all along that I wanted him at Leeds. He is only 33 so he could have six years left. Goalkeepers easily go into their late thirties. He is unbelievably fit because he looks after himself incredibly well.
“When he first came into Manchester City he was working with Eric Steele, an incredible goalkeeper coach who has brought on David De Gea as well.
“Pep decided to bin him for no reason whatsoever. You wonder if that is Mourinho going, ‘Well, you did not want him but I will have him and prove a point’. Hart’s work rate and dedication is incredible. He also adds to the homegrown quota which is a bonus.”
Hart has vast experience in English football, with 340 Premier League appearances, 75 caps for his country and two league titles on his CV. However, after his infamous and costly blunder in England’s Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland, newly-installed Man City boss Guardiola shipped him out on loan to Torino, where his performances drew criticism from the club’s president. A subsequent loan move to West Ham also led to questioning of his abilities.
However, Hart’s new team-mate Hugo Lloris is also 33 and has not covered himself in glory in recent months, making two errors which led to goals in last season’s Premier League and drawing criticism from some Spurs supporters. Therefore, the ex-England number one could pose sufficient competition to keep his French colleague on his toes.
Also, Mills makes a highly valid point about Tottenham’s need to fulfil homegrown quota regulations, which allow for no more than 17 ‘foreign’ players in a 25-man Premier League squad. As noted by Sky Sports, Spurs’ Premier League squad list for February 2020 had only four homegrown players (Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Ben Davies and Harry Winks), therefore preventing them from utilising the maximum permissible squad size of 25.
Was Jose Mourinho right to bring Joe Hart to Tottenham?
For UEFA competitions, where the quota requirements are similar in quantity, Davies does not qualify as homegrown as he came through the ranks at Swansea, which is deemed by their rules to be a Welsh and therefore ‘foreign’ club (as per Sky Sports).
By that logic, Mourinho’s decision to bring in Hart makes plenty of sense, as Mills has argued. It’s now a case of whether the 33-year-old can put some less than cerebral years behind him.
Tottenham fans, do you agree with Mills’ verdict on Hart? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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