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In Focus: Unsung hero Vicario the perfect heir to Lloris at Spurs
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Mitchell Fretton
Guglielmo Vicario has already kept two clean sheets this season
Guglielmo Vicario has already kept two clean sheets this season

Tottenham have found the perfect heir to Hugo Lloris in Guglielmo Vicario as the Italian continues to enjoy life in North London.

The 26-year-old joined from Empoli in the summer and has already kept two clean sheets in his opening four Premier League matches.

As he jets off for international duty with Italy, we turn the spotlight on Spurs' new No13.

Making adjustments

Vicario arrived at Spurs as a modern goalkeeper and is expected to play out from the back and withstand a high press from the opposition.

He represents an entirely different player to former club captain Lloris, who struggled with his distribution and often made errors leading to goals.

Against Brentford, Vicario gave a respectable account of his abilities, but he looked uneasy in certain situations and left an uncertain impression on supporters.

But since then, 6ft 3in stopper has been almost flawless, making several huge saves for his club in wins over Manchester United, Bournemouth and Burnley.

It can often take a while for players from abroad to adapt to the Premier League but Vicario already looks comfortable between the sticks.

Understand the plan

Guglielmo Vicario has enjoyed his start at Tottenham
Guglielmo Vicario has enjoyed his start at Tottenham

Old-school goalkeepers are a thing of the past in modern football and Vicario has already gone on record to talk about what his manager expects of him at Spurs.

Speaking after the victory over United, he said: "The balance is the most important thing in football. Sometimes it can be okay. Sometimes it is wrong. But my position is all about balance.

"I think that is the direction of modern football. You have to take some risks to perhaps break some of the pressing lines, you have to attract them forward and then maybe go through them. Life is about risk and that is what you have to do.

"I need to give a lot of respect to Hugo. He is a great goalkeeper and has won a lot, but I just have to concentrate on myself and do what the manager wants of me."

Pressure cooker

Spurs are retaining the ball much better under Ange Postecoglou thanks to the willingness of Vicario to play under pressure.

The composed keeper is averaging 36.5 passes per 90 in the Premier League this season — a significant increase on Lloris' 25.14 from last term.

Furthermore, the former Cagliari stopper is having 48 touches each match, while the World Cup winner was averaging just 34.

His ability to distribute to his defenders and midfielders often allows Spurs to beat the press and set them on the attack, which also adds some context as to why they have already scored 11 goals this season.

A positive impression

Guglielmo Vicario has a superb range of passing
Guglielmo Vicario has a superb range of passing

Vicario has left a positive impression on pundits and he caught the eye after a particularly good performance against United.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Andy Townsend told talkSPORT: "From what I've seen so far, he looks like a decent goalie. 

"He's agile, he's tall, he looks like he can get there, those ones in the top corner he looks like he can get. So I was quite impressed with him."

It may have been a good start from Tottenham's new man but he will have to maintain his form if the North Londoners are to challenge the top dogs.


Tottenham HotspurGuglielmo VicarioPremier League
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