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Why Totteham Should Buy Roma Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg

KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 17:  Maarten Stekelenburg of Netherlands directs his defence during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Portugal and Netherlands at Metalist Stadium on June 17, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2012

Without a doubt, Tottenham Hotspur need to target Maarten Stekelenburg.

Goalkeeper is a position Spurs would be wise to target in this summer transfer window because as of right now they will be relying on 41-year-old Brad Friedel.

Stekelenburg, 29 years old, presents a much better, younger option to the experienced American.

The Daily Mail reported that Spurs want to make a move for the Dutch keeper, but Roma's £8 million valuation is a bit too high. While everything written in the Mail needs to be taken with a grain of salt, that doesn't change the fact that Stekelenburg is a player Tottenham need to go after.

Last season was a rough one for the Dutch keeper.

He had been heavily rumored to Manchester United for much of the summer before the Red Devils eventually landed David de Gea.

Stekelenburg moved to Roma for around £5 million. It was a part of a grand design by new coach Luis Enrique that saw Simon Kjaer, Bojan, Fernando Gago, Erik Lamela, Pablo Osvaldo and Miralem Pjanic all arrive at the Stadio Olimpico.

Expectations were high, however, the club only managed a seventh-place finish. Much of Roma's difficulties came at the defensive end. Enrique, previously a youth coach at Barcelona, tried to get i Giallorossi to play more of a Barca-type attack, which led many to label the club BarcaRoma.

It failed miserably, and Enrique resigned at the end of the season.

Stekelenburg felt the brunt of the team's struggles as his back four often abandoned him, leaving him to fend for himself against the opposition's attack.

The Dutchman's horrendous season actually puts any club in a good position to try and move for him. His stock won't be much lower than it is right now.

It's doubtful that Roma would stick to their valuation if they're offered something in the £6.5-7 million range.

Should Spurs make this move, it would likely cost half of what a potential move for Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris would. The club was rumored (for what it's worth, also in the Mail) to be interested in Lloris, and Lyon put a price tag of around £16 million on him.

While he is four years younger than Stekelenburg, he isn't worth twice the fee.

With his poor season at Roma, it's easy to forget how good of a player Stekelenburg was at Ajax. There were questions about his ability going into the 2010 World Cup. He was one of the Netherlands' best players in that tournament and a major reason the Dutch finished runners-up.

Despite the country's horrendous showing at Euro 2012, it would have been even worse without Stekelenburg.

He isn't a world-class keeper, and it's doubtful he ever will be, but Stekelenburg is in that level that is just below world class. It's certainly a class much higher than where Friedel, Heurelho Gomes or Carlo Cudicini reside.

Spurs would also have be reuniting Stekelenburg and centre-back Jan Vertonghen, who played together at Ajax. Although it's Vertonghen's debut season in England, it's an added bonus to bring a new goalkeeper with a strong rapport with one of his defenders.

Even a player as experienced as Stekelenburg would struggle a little bit as he gets used to a new league and club, but having Vertonghen in front of him helps to ease him in.

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