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According to a report from the Sun, Tottenham Hotspur are trying to make Southampton goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga as their first recruit of the summer.
The North Londoners are the only Premier League club that are yet to make inroads in the transfer market this summer and the club’s supporters have been growing frustrated with the lack of activity in the window. However, manager Mauricio Pochettino seems very intent on reuniting with Gazzaniga who he managed during his tenure at Southampton. A fee of £2million is being quoted by the reports.
With the speculations gathering steam, we take a closer look at who Paulo Gazzaniga is and what he will be offering to Tottenham, if he joins.
Born on 2 January, 1992, in Murphy, Argentina, Gazzaniga started off his footballing journey with local club Union y Cultura, but moved to La Liga side Valencia’s youth academy in 2007 as 15-year old. However, he could never break into the senior team for the Spanish giants and was released in the summer of 2011.
The custodian then joined League Two side Gillingham in July, making his professional debut in October 2011, in a Football League Trophy game against Barnet. He made 22 appearances for the club, managing 8 clean sheets. The subsequent summer, he was snapped up by Pochettino’s Southampton on a four-year contract.
The Argentine made his debut for the Saints in August 2012 in a second round League Cup tie against Stevenage. He went on to make 11 appearances for the first-team, keeping just 2 shut-outs. Gazzaniga continued to act as a backup for a number of first-choice stoppers at the St. Mary’s – Kalvin Davies, Artur Boruc and Fraser Forster. He managed only 12 appearances in the following three seasons combined.
Ahead of the 2016/17 season, Gazzaniga was loaned out to Spanish second division side Rayo Vallecano, for whom he went on to play on 34 occasions, conceding 35 goals and keeping 12 clean sheets.
Standing tall at just a little under 6ft 5in, the 25-year old is a physically well-built keeper, and can be an imposing presence in his six-yard box. The Argentine is one of those sweeper keepers, who is always ready to charge out for the ball whenever necessary and his long-range kicks are quite accurate on most occasions.
However, Gazzaniga is often known to have lapses in concentration and is highly error-prone. Despite his height and physicality, he has often found wanting when going out for crosses and long balls.
Tottenham have been hunting for a third-choice goalkeeper and Pochettino seems to have decided to call upon someone who he knows and has seen from close quarters.
However, it is a bit confounding that Tottenham would want to bring him in as a third-choice, instead of signing a younger player and grooming him for when Lloris moves on or hangs up his boots.