That save. It nearly broke the internet. Who needs Gordon Banks stopping Pele or Kim Kardashian’s latest reveal, when you’ve saves like that? Twitter went in to overdrive when Hugo Lloris somehow managed to stop a certain goal. The game finished 0-0. Not one to stay long in the memory. However, Lloris provided one world-class moment that reaffirmed his position as one of the best stoppers in the world. Today we’ll do in our best in making the case for Hugo Lloris over De Gea.
Starting off in Nice, his stellar performances between the sticks earned him a move to Lyon in 2008. Ironically, Spurs were one of the interested parties at the time. They were in the market to find a replacement for the outgoing Paul Robinson. A deal never materialised and Lloris found himself at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
4 years later, Spurs would eventually landed their man. For a paltry sum of 10 million euro, plus another 5 million in add-ons, Daniel Levy made one of his shrewdest ever signings. De Gea had already signed for United during the previous summer for a fee of 17.8 million.
De Gea’s first season was dotted with goalkeeping errors, as he struggled to maintain form.The lowest point of his and United’s campaign was a 1-6 home drubbing by their arch rivals, Man City. Such were the extent of his struggles, the Number 1 shirt was not even guaranteed. Lindegaard was pushing him for a starting place and the Danish keeper said at the time:
“I want the number one spot because I am the best. I am sure he is a bit in front right now because he did well last season, so I need to take every chance I get to prove myself worthy of the number one spot”
It was a temporary blip. De Gea soon wrestled the number 1 jersey away from his teammate. The Spaniard would go on to win three consecutive club player of the year awards from the 2013/2014 season onward. The first player in the club’s history to achieve this. While the record is admirable, it’s also a reflection of United’s struggles during this period. When your goalkeeper is winning the player of the year award every year, questions need to be asked.
Lloris has 84 caps for his country. De Gea currently has 17. In his defence, Casillas refused to move aside gracefully when his time was up. Lloris is also 4 years older than De Gea, which means there is time to catch up. However, right now, the French “guardian” has far more international experience under his belt.
Lloris was made French national captain in 2012. He was only 24 years old. He has 4 international tournaments under his belt. De Gea really only has one. His 2014 experience consisted of sitting on the bench beside the “joker”, Pepe Reina.
Both keepers started all of their nation’s matches in this summer’s European Championships. Lloris helped guide his side to the final. Spain exited the tournament at the round of 16 stage.
Llloris has been steadily catching up on De Gea in the statistical performance metrics. This season is still young, but already Lloris has pulled ahead of De Gea. Both keepers have conceded only 3 goals in the Premier League so far. In fairness, De Gea has played two additional games (8 vs. 6). However, the telling statistic relates to the how many saves the keepers make per goal conceded:
- De Gea: 2.13
- Lloris: 5.33
Over the course of last season, De Gea was slightly ahead of the French keeper with a score of 2.45 vs. 2.13. Other statistics though, go in favour of Lloris. The average claim success (crosses, mainly) during last season was:
- De Gea: 93%
- Lloris: 97%
De Gea has sometimes been questioned over his ability to deal with crosses. His first season was blighted with incidents of him getting “Stoke-d” on a corner kick. He has vastly improved the physical side of his game since then. It does seem that Lloris is the steadier option under the high ball.
The Spurs coach, Mauricio Pochettino, was effusive in his praise of Lloris after his mid-week heroics:
‘I have not changed my opinion about him, that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he showed in every action today he is top quality, one of the best’
battle of two greats
The two keepers can quite rightly claim to be the best stoppers in the Premier League. While Man United’s skin has been consistently saved by De Gea over their disappointing last 3 seasons, Lloris has been steadily improving. Both are world-class.
De Gea will always get more column inches as he plays for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Whenever he saves United’s blushes, praise is heaped on him. It works both ways, though. De Gea found that out the hard way in his first season between the sticks at Old Trafford.
Lloris has arguably more “big game” experience than De Gea. French captain for over 4 years and now that Spurs are seemingly a consistent top 4 side, he’ll be able to enjoy more Champions League matches. Lloris has become “Mr.Consistent”. The Spurs captain, and soon to be club legend, is quite rightly regarded as one of the best in the world.
So what’s your view? Do you think that Lloris has now surpassed De Gea? Vote below:
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Feature Image: SkySports