Tottenham Hotspur have surprised supporters and neutrals alike by signing Joe Hart.
The former England international hasn’t had the best few seasons but he’s now pitching up in N17 to work under Jose Mourinho.
‘Why?’ Some fans have bellowed. There are more pressing concerns within the squad – most notably at least one new right-back is needed.
Those at other ‘Big Six’ clubs may have even tittered at the signing. A career in decline heading to Spurs.
In fact, signing Hart makes total sense. And in more ways than you might think too.
It can only strengthen the club and it would appear the shot-stopper won’t even be on huge wages either with Tottenham spending a lot less than the £50,000 per week he was on at Burnley, who released him on June 30.
So, why does it make so much sense? talkSPORT.com takes a look.
Hart will improve the squad
It’s never nice to point the finger at footballers but previous third choice goalkeeper at Spurs, Michel Vorm, made a number of big errors.
Want to know why Tottenham didn’t win more trophies over the last few years? Try thinking about Vorm’s costly mistakes against Arsenal (2015/16 League Cup),. Leicester (2014/15 FA Cup), Manchester United (2017/18 FA Cup semi-final), Norwich (2019/20 FA Cup), and a ghastly display against Liverpool in the Premier League in 2018/19.
Hart has had a decline, for sure, the stats bear this out but he’s definitely better than the Dutch goalkeeper he replaces at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Hart allows another foreign signing
The nationality of Vorm also makes the Hart deal important.
An ex-England international, he will now qualify as homegrown – a type of player Spurs haven’t had too many of recently.
You may only have a maximum of 17 foreigners in your squad and with Tottenham maxed out they had to function with a 21-man squad for the second half of last-term.
Bringing in Hart allows the club to sign another foreign star for their top four push next season – smart.
Hart brings title-winning experience and is a leader
You can say what you like about the former Man City, Torino, West Ham, and Burnley man, he’s been there and done it.
He’s won two titles, an FA Cup, and two League Cups, four Premier League Golden Gloves, gone deep into the Champions League with City, and played at tournaments with England.
Hart has experienced both the highs and the lows of the beautiful game, if anyone can offer advice to those in need of some words of encouragement it’s him.
Several stars have also spoken about his leadership credentials.
Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon once said: “The way he organises with such confidence. He is a real leader.
Meanwhile, ex-teammate Micah Richards has added: “He’s an incredible player, an incredible leader as well.”
Vorm was a big dressing room influence as well, but Hart won things too.
Hart will allow two young stars to get loan experience
Some clubs in the ‘Big Six’ have hot prospects as their third choice goalkeeper, and Spurs did at the start of the last campaign with Alfie Whiteman involved.
But he and fellow youngster Brandon Austin have been starved of senior games thanks to their first-team duties.
Austin spent time in Denmark last season, playing 14 times for Viborg FF but will want more in 2020/21, as will Whiteman.
Getting these stars experience will be just another benefit Hart will bring.
Hart has already played with several Spurs stars
It can be hard sometimes bringing in a random third-choice to play a part in the squad, especially if they have no links to any players or the club.
Luckily, not only is he well known to most footballers he’s also been a teammate for most of Spurs’ English contingent.
Harry Kane, Eric Dier, and Dele Alli will all know him well from Euro 2016, and no doubt others have brushed shoulders with him too.
This familiarity keeps the squad settled and should be too disrupting.