Steven Caulker has lifted the lid on what life is like trying to communicate with a goalkeeper who can speak little English – but insists Frenchman Hugo Lloris has been a revelation since signing for Tottenham over the summer.
Lloris has been forced to wait for his chance to make his Premier League debut having signed for Tottenham in a £12 million deal on deadline day, but was finally given the nod in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
His selection ahead of Freidel ended the American’s remarkable run of 310 consecutive league games – a Premier League record - and also marked Tottenham's first clean sheet in the league this season.
Lloris acquitted himself well during his White Hart Lane debut, although did cause one scare when his quick clearance fell straight to an Aston Villa player, only for striker Christian Benteke to spurn the chance to put his side ahead by nodding a golden chance wide.
Caulker, who has also broken through into the first team this season having spent last term on loan at Swansea, has revealed that although communication may be at a minimum, there was no crossed wires between the pair on Lloris' home league debut.
"Hugo’s learning English and he’s coming along really well," he said. He made a fantastic save [from Gabriel Agbonlahor] when they had a one on one and he’s really proving his worth.
"My French isn’t great but the communication was fine. He understands the English that he needs to know and he was very vocal."
During the second half, Lloris’ lack of English was laid bare as Tottenham fans asked for an acknowledgement from the former Lyon 'keeper, only for the language barrier to stop him from obliging. Soon after a simple chant of ‘Hugo’ did the job and the fans got the wave they wanted.
Caulker praised the contribution of Lloris on and off the pitch, and believes his presence at Tottenham can only spur the club on to greater things.
“He’s been very humble, he’s been a good character amongst the boys," he told reporters,” he said.
"He’s had to be patient as well with Brad playing fantastically well, so the gaffer gave him the nod for his first Premier League start and he did really well.