Pierluigi Gollini adds his name to the raft of Tottenham Hotspur’s future goalkeepers looking to take up Hugo Lloris’ mantle.
The Italian shot-stopper is on a season loan from Atalanta, with an option to buy. At 26 years old, he looks to be a backup to Lloris, with Joe Hart the third reserve ‘keeper and Alfie Whiteman also vying for a chance to don the gloves.
Pierluigi Gollini Joins the Ranks of Tottenham Hotspur’s Future Goalkeepers
Hugo Lloris’ France bowed out disappointingly from Euro 2020. But they still reign as World Cup champions, a proud day in the memory of the French skipper. Captain for club and country, Lloris has made his name as a world-class goalkeeper. He has cat-like reflexes, superb athleticism and has a great knack for saving penalties.
Goalkeepers tend to last longer in the game, so while Lloris is 34, Gianluigi Buffon still plays for Parma at age 43. Nevertheless, Spurs have to think about a future where they no longer have the reliable Frenchman between the sticks.
They’ve already begun that search with Gollini, who appears to be a Paulo Gazzaniga replacement.
Spurs’ New Goalkeeper Gollini
Gollini hails from Bologna, Italy, and he started his career with Fiorentina’s youth academy. He then moved to Manchester United, before starting his senior career proper at Hellas Verona. A return to England, Gollini plied his trade at Aston Villa for two seasons. But he has been playing the lionshare of his first team football at Atalanta.
He has just the one Italy cap, coming on as a sub for Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The season loan deal is prudent, allowing Spurs to make a decision about splashing the cash at a later date. Gollini has already gone through the Spurs PR paces, able to speak good English from his time at United and Villa. He looks to hit the ground running, with the No.2 position at the club up for grabs.
Where Joe Hart Fits in
Joe Hart was something of a surprise signing. Spurs have a knack of signing goalkeepers lately, but Hart’s transfer looked to be one that padded the squad with a bit of experience and ‘winning mentality. Neverless, Hart has been playing sporadically in Lloris’ absence. Vocal on the pitch, he also seems to have a good dressing room presence. Similiar to Lloris, he is 34-years-old but has already moved past his peak. He still offers great experience and would be another good pro’ for the incoming Gollini to work with.
That said, according to LWOF’s latest reports, Hart could well be off, freeing up space for Whiteman.
Alfie Whiteman Getting a Pre-season Run-out
It’s that time of year where fans get to see the younger players get a chance to shine. This pre-season, Alfie Whiteman has been getting some minutes. Whiteman, 22, is the same age as Brandon Austin and they both respresent the older academy graduate goalkeepers. Unlike Austin, Whiteman is yet to go out on loan. As it stands, he would be the fourth choice ‘keeper at Spurs behind Gollini and Hart. This is subject to change, though.
Whiteman has pulled off some good saves in Spurs’ matches against Leyton Orient and Colchester United. But a loan deal is likely his best destination to develop his game further, if Hart remains at the club.
Tottenham’s Future Goalkeepers
There’s certainly no lack of young goalkeepers coming through the academy. The under-23’s have the likes of Luton-born Kacper Kurylowicz (19), as well as Parisian Thimothee Lo-Tutala (18), Joshua Oluwayemi (20) and Isak Solberg (18).
Meanwhile in the ranks of the under-18s are 17-year olds Adam Hayton and Aaron Maguire. Both lads are second-year academy players.
With the plethora of up and coming ‘keepers, Spurs should be in good hands in their search for a Lloris understudy. But, if they are to really champion their younger goalkeepers they will need to find them game time one way or another. Many of the players listed above have had some loan experience, but limited opportunity at Spurs to play. It is difficult to introduce younger goalkeepers into Premier League first teams, which is probably why the club have brought in more experienced shot-stoppers recently.
It seems as if Tottenham born and bred Whiteman may finally move up the pecking order, should Hart leave this summer. What a moment it would be for the local lad to get his first Premier League minutes!