Pau Lopez lowdown from Terry Gibson
01 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
As an ex-Spurs player who these days commentates on La Liga for Sky Sports, Terry Gibson is ideally placed to talk us through the background of goalkeeper Pau Lopez, our new loan signing from Espanyol.
The 21-year-old stopper, first choice for the Spanish side throughout last season, is currently on international duty for Spain Under-21s, having earned his first senior call-up for his country’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina just prior to Euro 2016.
A promising addition to our goalkeeping department, which already boasts the talents of Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, Pau was in the youth ranks at Espanyol when Mauricio Pochettino was in charge there between 2009 and 2012.
Terry, who came up through our own youth system and scored seven goals in 26 senior appearances between 1979 and 1983, has watched our new recruit in action several times as part of his television work, which sees him commentate live on La Liga games and make frequent appearances in the Sky Sports studios to offer his expert take on the Spanish football landscape.
And it’s fair to say the 53-year-old has been particularly impressed by what he’s seen.
“In recent seasons, Spain has been renowned for producing really good, talented young goalkeepers and Pau is on that list,” said the former Coventry City and Manchester United striker.
“Espanyol sold Kiko Casilla to Real Madrid last summer so Pau came in and took over. At the time it appeared to be a bad decision to let Casilla leave but Espanyol obviously knew that they had a really good young goalkeeper to follow him and he’s gone on to prove that he’s a fantastic stopper and someone who's worthy of playing for Spurs.
“I think he has the potential to be a really good goalkeeper for years to come and at one stage last season he didn’t appear to be too far away from being in the Spanish national set-up due to his good form – in fact he made the squad just before the Euros.
“He’s a good all-round keeper. He’s a great shot-stopper, he’s good at dealing with crosses, he’s agile and all those attributes will only improve over time. I think he represents a really good loan signing by Spurs.”
Terry says he’s also been impressed by Pau’s attitude and application during his spell in the Spanish top flight and is hopeful that in time he’ll be able to emulate some of the great goalkeepers to come out of his country.
“He’s been smashing,” Terry added. “He was thrown in at the deep end really – it was a bit of a surprise that Casilla left to go back to Real Madrid last year and Espanyol didn’t have any real opportunity to look around for a replacement so Pau was thrown in amongst it and he’s been superb, really good.
“He’s calm in his nature, too, and his temperament is one of the reasons why he’s done so well. As I said, he was thrown in at a young age but he dealt with it very well and became their first choice goalkeeper.
“If you look at the good keepers from La Liga who have come to England in recent years – Claudio Bravo is the latest one, there’s also been David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois was there on loan too – he’s got every chance of growing up to be a really top-class player. He’s certainly one for the future.”