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Report: Jan Oblak an option to replace Hugo Lloris at Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur are looking at options to replace Hugo Lloris, both in the short and long term. In the near term, there is doubt about Hugo in the north London derby this week after sustaining a thigh injury against Leicester City which led to him being ruled out of France’s two Nations League matches during the international break. If he is not able to play, Antonio Conte will almost certainly turn to newly signed reserve goalkeeper Fraser Forster to play at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

But there’s a bigger problem, too. Hugo is 35 years old and has been at Tottenham for a decade. He is widely inclined to leave Spurs when his contract expires in 2024, and so far Spurs have not secured a long-term replacement for him, assuming he would not be inclined to Forster for the job. But by the evening’s standard, Spurs are trying to be proactive. Nizaar Kinsella writes that 29-year-old Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is a potential option and that Tottenham will likely try to find Hugo’s successor this summer.

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So this is a strange rumour. Oblak is considered one of the best, if not the best, guards in the world. His tearing him up this summer would be a coup, and he would be at the top of the list for any club looking to promote a goalkeeper, including Manchester United who are also said to be interested in him to replace David de Gea, as well as Chelsea. It’s also odd that Oblak’s contract currently runs until 2028, so it’s odd that Atletico would consider letting him go during his peak years.

It’s possible that Atletico still struggles with Covid, and sees an aging global talent as a way to raise money. But Oblak’s current contract length suggests that if he was indeed available, it wouldn’t come cheap. I have no idea what a goalkeeper of Oblak’s caliber will go for in this current market, and it’s not like Spurs don’t have the money now, but spending a lot of money for a peak goalkeeper would definitely be out of character for a club like Tottenham, despite the new stadium money.

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The standard states that Oblak has a release clause of £107m, but “this number is believed to have been significantly reduced”. He would have earned substantial weekly wages, although that is less of a problem for Spurs now than it was two years ago.

I do not know. Oblak is amazing and it would be amazing to see him fit in with Spurs in the future, but there are risks. As good as it is, signing with a 29-year-old goalkeeper doesn’t sound like a long-term succession plan to me, but I probably need to rearrange my expectations. It’s almost uncommon to get a talented and capable goalkeeper Hugo at the age of 25 and keep him for ten years of top-level football, and it’s probably not realistic to assume that will happen again. It’s also possible that Spurs are now at a level where hunting down players of Oblak’s caliber is no longer seen as difficult, and we must retool our expectations on the types of Spurs players they will target going forward as well.

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I doubt this. But it sure would be stylish! And Tottenham will have to figure out the long-term Hugo Problem™ soon.

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