Football

Tottenham Hotspur: Top 5 keeper targets

Vorm would be a perfect replacement for Friedel. (©GettyImages)
Vorm would be a perfect replacement for Friedel. (©GettyImages).

Tottenham Hotspur are enjoying one of their most successful seasons on the pitch in decades, with Harry Redknapp's side emerging as legitimate challengers for the title.

And, whilst Spurs' passing style of play has earned rave reviews so far this term, it's an impressive defensive record that has helped them on their way to a current third-place position.

Conceding just 21 goals in 21 games in the Barclays Premier League, Tottenham hold the fourth best record in the division, and have only let nine goals in at home (including five in one game against Manchester City).

The form of Brad Friedel has been key to that success, but at 40-years-old, the former American international can't be around forever after moving to north London from Aston Villa in the summer.

Whilst Heurelho Gomes is an able deputy, his error-prone style has left the Brazilian as a now unlikely No.1 for the club, despite his spell between the sticks before Friedel's arrival at the club.

That leaves Spurs in the market for a stopper, and there have been plenty on the radar if UK press reports are to be believed. GMF run through the options available to Redknapp for his future first choice...
 

Michel Vorm (Swansea City & Netherlands)

A relative unknown in the UK until he signed for Swansea in the summer transfer window, Vorm has immediately emerged as one of the league's best keepers after a string of stunning performances, particularly at the Liberty Stadium.

Affectionately nicknamed 'the penalty killer' for his ability to stop people scoring from 12 yards, Vorm made his name with Utrecht in the Eredivisie, and had earned eight caps for his country by the time he moved to Wales in August.

Swans director John van Zweden today confirmed that Spurs are one of the clubs - along with Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea - to take an interest in the player, whose shot-stopping ability is arguably his finest attribute.

VERDICT: Signed for £1.5 million just five months ago, that price will now be much higher given Vorm has proved himself in the English top flight and several parties are interested.

But, in his short spell at the Liberty Stadium, the 28-year-old has proved he's got the ability to mix it with the very best - would be a great Spurs signing.
 

Javi Jimenez (Real Murcia)

The Spanish stopper recently emerged on the Spurs radar in a surprise link to the north London outfit.

At 24, the goalkeeper is yet to receive international recognition, but was on Harry Redknapp's wanted list last year whilst plying his trade at Real Valladolid.

Currently playing for Real Murcia in the Segunda Division, the former Alavés youth team player opted to stay in his homeland when last linked with a move abroad, but would be a cheap option if prized over to England.

VERDICT: Untested at the top level, suggestions of a loan move first would definitely be best for Redknapp to take a closer look at the player. Don't expect a deal to come to fruition, though.
 

Zeljko Brkic (Udinese & Serbia)

The Serbian international stopper currently plies his trade on loan at Siena, but confirmed last month that Spurs had been in talks with Udinese over a permanent move.

"I know that before this season there were talks and that Tottenham was interested in me. I think that Tottenham even talked with Udinese but it was all far from a conclusion."

Despite their lowly league position in Serie 'A', Brkic has helped his side keep one of the best home records defensively in the league, becoming the club's No.1 and one of their top performers.

VERDICT: Another potential gamble given his lack of experience at a decent level (moved to Italy from Vojvodina in the summer). Needs to prove himself for longer before making the switch.
 

Nikolay Mihaylov (FC Twente & Bulgaria)

The 23-year-old could follow in Vorm's footsteps if he moves from Holland to White Hart Lane, and has a point to prove in England after failing to make an impact during a brief spell with Liverpool.

Mihaylov has admitted an eagerness to move away from FC Twente, despite the return of Steve McClaren, citing AC Milan as a favourable destination were he to leave.

However, the Daily Mail claimed a £5 million bid was launched for the Bulgarian Player of the Year in December, and despite his lack of experience he has undoubted ability.

VERDICT: A solid shot-stopper who has only recently become No.1 for his club, Mihaylov would again represent a gamble and, at the current time, is not worth the risk.
 

Jack Butland (Birmingham City)

At the end of December, England U21 international Jack Butland emerged on the Tottenham Hotspur radar in a potential £2 million move.

The 18-year-old Birmingham City stopper has only gained first team experience on loan at Cheltenham, but is regarded as one of the top prospects in the country by a number of figures in the game, including Chris Hughton.

30 scouts watched the player in action for the Robins, with Spurs one of those to provide a glowing reference on the teenager, who has already made a name for himself as a fine shot-stopper.

VERDICT: A potential star of the future, Butland wouldn't be ready for action immediately, but could be an excellent under-study to an experienced hand.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Premier League

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