Jose Mourinho’s under the radar Everton decision that could have a huge impact on Tottenham star


Jose Mourinho has a number of important decisions to make ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against Everton.

Does Matt Doherty get the nod ahead of Serge Aurier at right-back? Who exactly does he start in midfield following the summer addition of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg? Has Steven Bergwijn done enough to make the XI?

All are very important decisions but there is perhaps one that has gone under the radar.

The one in question is which goalkeeper starts on the substitutes’ bench against the Toffees after Joe Hart signed a two-year deal in north London last month.

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Departing Burnley at the end of last campaign and with his future not exactly clear cut, Tottenham made a shock move to boost the goalkeeping department at the club following Michel Vorm’s departure.

Hart was seen as the man to take the Dutchman’s place and act as cover for Hugo Lloris and Paulo Gazzaniga, yet his involvement in pre-season so far highlights that he may not be third choice going into the new season.

Coming on for Lloris in their first two friendly games before the Argentine, the 33-year-old then got the nod from the start ahead of his competitor for the final two matches against Birmingham City and Watford.

Hart was never just going to come in and settle for a spot challenging to be Lloris’ deputy and he will have eyes on overtaking the World Cup winner in the pecking order as that’s the kind of person he is.

Speaking to Joe in an exclusive interview, Mourinho hinted that the ex-Man City will be his second-choice goalkeeper as he gives the Frenchman the “hard competition” they need.

“Joe is one of the top goalkeepers of the last decade in the country. He started very early, playing in a big club like City and playing for the national team. 75 caps, so he has all the experience,” he explained.

“I think a negative episode a few years ago marked his career for the past three or four years, because it’s not easy to leave a champion club and then go into clubs of another dimension.

“So now he has the chance to be back to a club like us.

Joe Hart will be aiming to leapfrog Paulo Gazzaniga in the pecking order at Tottenham and put pressure on Hugo Lloris for the No.1 spot

“Of course, Hugo is our captain. Hugo is the world champion captain. He’s a phenomenal goalkeeper and very important in our group but I think Joe will give him the hard competition that we need.”

If indeed Hart does take his place on the bench on Sunday against Everton then it will raise questions about Gazzaniga’s long-term future in the capital.

The Argentine has already been linked with moves to Aston Villa and Fulham ahead of the deadline, as well as a return home to link up with Independiente.

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Making 25 appearances in all competitions last term for the Lilywhites with Lloris spending a long spell on the sidelines, the 28-year-old will not be content with dropping down to third choice as he will harbour ambitions of playing week in, week out.

With a handful of players tipped to move on to play regularly elsewhere this season, it perhaps wouldn’t be a big shock if the shot-stopper also headed out the door, whether that be on loan or permanently, if the boss opts for Hart as his No.2.

Mourinho’s selection on Sunday will tell us a lot about his Tottenham plans for the coming season and it could potentially lead to a very interesting end to the transfer window for the club.





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