Some of Tim Sherwood’s statements since taking charge of Tottenham have caused fans to cringe, with his blend of real talk and wisecracks even inspiring a quotes of the week special on these pages.
However, his recent critique of Spurs’ transfer strategy appears to have been gratefully digested, with the latest rumour mill churnings suggesting that technical director Franco Baldini will act on his advice.
Sherwood implied that the main problem with last summer’s business was that the north Londoners gambled on foreign imports, declaring himself “a firm believer that Premier League experience is key”.
Faced with the issue of having to replace Hugo Lloris if the goalkeeper is seduced by a team offering Champions League football, Baldini and co reportedly plan to shop locally for West Brom’s Ben Foster.
Paris St-Germain, Atletico Madrid and – though it would require their transfer ban to be overturned – Barcelona are linked with Lloris, and each have the stature and financial resources to sway both player and club.
Foster’s appeal as the French shot-stopper’s successor is easy to understand.
He is a Premier League veteran, shouldn’t be too costly, has top-level knowhow from his Manchester United stint and, aged 31, has plenty left in the tank.
It should also significantly aid the England international’s cause that he performed well against his suitors in West Brom and Tottenham’s 3-3 draw, saving an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty.
Then again, David de Gea, Petr Cech and Spurs’ very own Lloris arrived at their current sides without Premier League pedigree – as did Adrian and Michel Vorm lower down the food chain – so perhaps familiarity isn’t so vital between the sticks.
Despite possessing one of the planet’s leading custodians in Lloris, the Lilywhites are on a damaging run of eight matches without a clean sheet.
Both teams to score is a 4/5 shot in their next encounter against resurgent Fulham, providing new bwin.com customers with a chance to transform their £30 free bet into a £24 prize.