Lloris commitment deserves reward
Tottenham have yet to bring in a new player during this transfer window but they might have already made their most important signing of the summer.
On Thursday the club announced that Hugo Lloris has signed a new five year contract. It was extremely welcome news after months of speculation regarding the French goalkeeper's future.
Lloris was Spurs' most consistent player last season, maintaining his high standards while others let theirs slip. Having shown such professionalism, it would have been hard to begrudge Lloris if he decided he'd had enough of life at White Hart Lane. The management of both the club and team was a shambles, while his teammates let him down on a regular basis.
Nothing summed up Tottenham's wretched last season as much as the moment when Emmanuel Adebayor and Paulinho parted like the Red Sea to turn a defensive wall into a gaping hole, allowing West Ham to score from a free kick. There was nothing Loris could have done. At that moment I almost felt like helping Hugo to pack his bags. He deserved better. As one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Lloris really should be playing for a European superpower, yet he has instead pledged his future to football's most dysfunctional family.
No one should be naive enough to think that Lloris wouldn't have wanted to leave had the right club shown an interest. Fortunately for Spurs, vacancies for goalkeepers at top clubs are a rare occurrence. That said, even if a move didn't materialise this summer, there was no reason for Lloris to sign a new contract. With two seasons remaining on his deal, Lloris could have simply bided his time and run his contract down. His value would have started to diminish, making it more likely for a European giant to make their move.
Of course, this is Tottenham we're talking about, where things are never quite what they seem. It would surprise no one if Lloris' new deal included a buyout clause, or a promise from above that he could move next summer if the right club shows interest.
There are no assurances in football these days but what's clear is that Lloris is giving the club a chance to redeem themselves. If he does eventually leave it will at least be for a sizeable fee and on Spurs' terms. Being given another chance is all that Tottenham can realistically hope from Lloris right now. The club has the task of living up to expectations and Lloris certainly sounds positive about their chances, citing the chairman's ambition and the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as factors in him committing to a new deal.
With Michael Dawson looking set to leave this summer, there will be a vacancy for a new club captain at Spurs. Lloris could prove to be the outstanding candidate to replace him. Jan Vertonghen's future is still up in the air, but his attitude last season was in marked contrast to that of Lloris. The Belgian looked a certain Tottenham skipper when he first signed for Tottenham but he looked anything but a leader when the chips were down. Sandro has the qualities to be a captain but has also been linked with a move away. Even if he stays, his injury record may count against him.
It's true that a goalkeeper may not be the ideal captain, yet if you ignore his position, Lloris emerges as the man with the best credentials. He leads by example and is already the captain of the French national team, with whom he has just enjoyed a (relatively) successful World Cup.
Lloris has shown a commitment to Tottenham that deserves to be rewarded. It is common for a team to name their best player as captain and the fact that Hugo is a goalkeeper shouldn't prevent him from becoming the man to lead Spurs out next season.