With veteran goalkeepers currently in the squad not getting any younger, Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly been searching for a younger model since the start of summer. Spurs have been linked with French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but no official offer has yet been made. It was announced on Friday afternoon ET that Spurs had offered a trial to a different goalkeeper, one that may come as somewhat of a surprise to Tottenham supporters.
Football Australia, the official website for the A-League, announced on Friday that Central Coast Mariners 'keeper Mathew Ryan (no typo there) will spend a week training with Spurs. Ryan, just 20-years old, had himself a banner year while playing shot-stopper for the team that finished the 2011-12 campaign atop the A-League table. He earned Mariners Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and A-League Goalkeeper of the Year honors, and he also kept eight clean sheets in 24 league appearances last season. Ryan has also featured in the Australia U-23 team.
New manager Andre Villas-Boas and chairman Daniel Levy would do well to bring in a young goalkeeper or two this summer. American veteran Brad Friedel, who played extremely well during his 38 league appearances with Spurs last season, turned 41-years old this past May. Carlo Cudicini, used in Europa League and FA Cup matches, turns 39-years old this coming September. It is also not yet clear if Heurelho Gomes, who fell out of favor with former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, has a home at Spurs now that Villas-Boas is in charge.
I am a Perth Glory supporter, and thus I didn't get to see many Central Coast games last season. I was impressed when I did get to see Ryan in action, and his accomplishments over the past two A-League seasons suggest that he could be ready to take the next step in his career. It is also worth noting that acquiring Ryan could prove to be smart business down the road for Spurs. Levy certainly wouldn't have to break the bank for the young 'keeper, and he has, in the past, made some nice coin on such players. He's about to again do so on the sales of Steven Pienaar and Luka Modric.
Ryan would, if he were to join Spurs, not be the club's only promising young goalkeeper. Under-21 goalkeeper Jordan Archer, thought by some to be a potential first choice 'keeper of the future, recently signed a new deal with Spurs.
Such talk is, as of the writing of this sentence, nothing but speculation. Mariners Chairman Peter Turnbull told the Football Australia website that no official offer has been made for Ryan. This trial is, as Turnbull described it, "a magnificent opportunity and experience for Mathew to have a look at a top Premier League club." It could also be yet another way for Spurs to move on from the Redknapp era, something they have done rather nicely since the arrival of Villas-Boas.