By Rachael Warham
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino reacted to his side’s first Premier League home win of the season against Bournemouth by labelling his goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as one of the best in his position in the world.
Spurs’ manager made the claim in his post-match interview on Saturday after the France international denied Jermain Defoe an equaliser for the visitors and kept out what was an almost-certain Eric Dier own-goal, cementing their 1-0 win.
There might be some truth in Pochettino’s statement, however, as likely as Lloris is of pulling off a world-class save, he also has the tendency of serving up a howler.
Tottenham fans have seen this on occasion, while you only have to look at Sweden’s goal against France in a World Cup qualifier where Lloris gifted the ball to the opposition and Ola Toivonen goal took full advantage, scoring from the half-way line.
Despite the errors, the former Lyon stopper has grown in stature and stability since his move to the Premier League in 2012 and is undoubtedly up there as one of the best in the Premier League, but in the world? That is questionable.
Last season, many pundits voted the Frenchman as the best keeper in the Premier League thanks to conceding just 24 goals all season, the best in the division, and even managing two assists.
Lloris’ shot-stopping ability alone puts him up there amongst the goalkeeping elite, but his kicking accuracy and distribution remains his Achilles heel.
Manuel Neuer is roundly considered as the world’s best goalkeeper – as the ultimate sweeper and commander of the box, the German has held that unofficial title for a number of years.
The Germany international is Mr Reliable but if Lloris can cut out the errors and improve on his kicking, which he is showing signs of happening, the Tottenham man could become one of the world’s best keepers.