Paulo Gazzaniga was thrown into the Tottenham Hotspur team on Saturday as the club lost 1-0 to Manchester City in the Premier League.
Normal No.1 and club captain Hugo Lloris was not in the matchday squad after sustaining a minor injury.
On the chalkboard
This was something of an audition for Gazzaniga, playing against the best team in England.
It is fair to say that he failed it.
While he has turned in some impressive performances in goal for Spurs during his time at the club, Gazzaniga was the picture of nervousness against Pep Guardiola’s side.
That is perhaps forgivable, given the circumstances surrounding his inclusion, but he did not make a positive impression.
Per WhoScored, he made three saves, though he only collected the ball once and he also allowed one effort to squirm out of his hands and roll behind for a corner.
His distribution, too, left a lot to be desired.
While playing against Ederson – perhaps the finest sweeper keeper in England – can make his stats look particularly poor, Gazzaniga had a pass completion rate of just 53%. Ederson’s, by comparison, was 74%. Earlier this week, in the Champions League encounter between the two clubs, Lloris had a pass completion rate of 61%.
Gazzaniga, then, was constantly placing his own backline under unnecessary pressure.
An upgrade is required
Lloris is not the best goalkeeper in England and Spurs could certainly improve upon him in the transfer market, should they choose to.
But perhaps the real problem lies in the depth behind him.
Michel Vorm is ageing and surely rusty and, while Gazzaniga has time on his side at 27, it has become apparent that neither are capable of deputising for any length of time.
This summer, then, as Spurs look to dip into the transfer market for the first time since January 2018, a goalkeeper must be on the agenda.
It may seem harsh but, after Saturday, Gazzaniga simply cannot cut it.