Tottenham Hotspur have just acquired out-of-contract Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel, paving the way for last season's number one Huerlho Gomes to depart the club, possibly to PSV Eindhoven. In signing Friedel, Tottenham have managed to stave off interest from Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Villa themselves, but it's unclear whether they actually made the biggest offer.
In instilling Friedel as their first choice keeper, Spurs are exchanging the mercurial Gomes for someone less prone to moments of brilliance, and farce. To Tottenham fans, at least, this is a huge blessing, having seen ludicrous errors from their goalkeepers cost them a umber of points last season - at least, according to Ryan Rosenblatt of SB Nation's Tottenham Hotspur blog Cartilage Free Captain:
In Friedel, Spurs getting a keeper who they can depend on to organize the defense, be in position and make the simple saves. That is a gigantic upgrade for the club and really all the club could hope for in a summer where several big clubs are looking for keepers to drive the price of all those at the positon sky high.
Friedel is not a long-term solution. He can't be at 40 years old. He is a short-term solution that will give the Spurs a chance to compete for the top four and a Champions League place next season. That is more than enough for the club in a summer where their big bucks need to be spent elsewhere, specifically at striker. Beginning the search for a younger goalkeeper to groom for the future sure wouldn't hurt though.
In signing Friedel, Spurs are removing a problem in Gomes and simply putting it off for at the most two seasons. Between now and then I'm sure some interesting goalkeeper prospects will make an appearance, but Spurs are going to have to be on the lookout for a long term fix here. Like Ryan says, Friedel isn't going to cut it.