Tottenham Hotspur this week completed the signing of former England goalkeeper Joe Hart on a two year deal after the 33-year old left Burnley on a free transfer.
Hugo Lloris has held the first team role for the Spurs for the last eight seasons but Mourinho made a smart move signing the veteran as a back up. Hart had two insignificant seasons in Burnley recording only 19 matches but his Premier League and international experience can bring stability in his position as well as in the changing-room.
Lloris spent a few months on the injury list last season after suffering a dislocated elbow and ligament damage. His back up Paulo Gazzaniga did not show as much consistency as hoped and Mourinho has taken the opportunity to bring along the two-time Premier League champion without having to pay a penny for his transfer, providing real competition for the back-up spot.
Mourinho has a history of bringing older English goalkeepers to his Premier League clubs, most recently with Lee Grant at Manchester United. Another reason for Hart’s signing is the “Home Grown Players” rule. Premier League teams can have a maximum of 17 overseas players in the squad and a back up goalkeeper doesn’t need to be on that list.
But Hart during his career has shown that he is much more than a player to fill a squad position with. Even though it is expected that Lloris will remain the starting goalkeeper, Hart seems ready to resurrect his career – he has shown a perfect physical condition at the medical tests prior to signing with the Spurs, and at 33 he is not particularly old for a ‘keeper. Another thing that he brings to the table is experience as he has played on the highest level with 340 Premier League starts and over 30.000 minutes. He also has 75 caps for England including two World Cups.
Hart’s downfall began after Pep Guardiola took the charge of Manchester City in 2016 and sent the goalkeeper on loan, first at Torino, and then at West Ham. After 12 years as a Sky Blue, he parted ways and continued his career in Burnley where he couldn’t manage to establish himself as a starter alongside Nick Pope.
“It has been a couple of difficult years for me on the football field but I feel I’ve got so much more to give. I’m here to help the team any way I can. Be it on the field, off the field, I’m here to try and push the club forward,” said Hart after his arrival in north London.
Knowing his goalkeeping quality and experience both from the winning days with City and the struggling in the last couple of seasons, Hart will definitely be a huge asset for Mourinho’s side and if a chance comes along, he might be back on the right path both for the Spurs and for England.