Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel has sparked discussion about his future at the north London club by admitting that he is thinking about retirement at the end of the 2012/13 English Premier League season.
The 42-year-old recently lost the starting spot at White Hart Lane for the first time in 310 league appearances to French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who made a transfer to Tottenham over the summer transfer window.
Lloris’ arrival had brought with it great speculation as to the future of Friedel, who despite his age, has been superb for Spurs through the season so far. And with the latest comments by the American international, that speculation is bound to continue into the January transfer window.
Friedel’s contract runs out at the end of the season and he is undecided over whether to sign a new deal, look for media work or start a coaching career.
“I’m definitely looking at all the possibilities for next season,” he told Sports Illustrated. “Tottenham’s a big club, and the fans expect to play in a certain way.”
The arrival of Lloris at White Hart Lane was viewed by many as the end of Friedel’s time with Spurs, with the French international captain considered the club’s future goalkeeper and long-term prospect.
The French captain had previously stated that he understood his role at the north London club this season given the fact he had only just arrived at the club, telling The Daily Mirror earlier in the season:
The things are clear – I did not sign for Tottenham to have that role (as sub). I think it (becoming first choice) will happen naturally.
I am at the service of the team. I respect everyone but I came here to play.
Friedel has been excellent for Spurs since his move to White Hart Lane and has deserved every starting berth that he has been afforded, but with Lloris set to play Thursday in the Europa League against Maribor, his time as the club’s No. 1 shot-stopper could be coming to an end.
Lloris is a bright prospect and largely talented, and could well have a decade-long career at the White Hart Lane if he chooses and thrives under Andre Villas-Boas.
At the end of the day, Friedel is 42 and there will come a time when he decides to hang up the boots, and Tottenham cannot be caught unawares by that day.
They will likely try to phase the American out and bring the Frenchman in more and more as the season wears on, and it is starting spots like this that make many assume that this will be Friedel’s last year in the English Premier League.
After all, few players would be “definitely looking at all the possibilities for next season” after just two months of competition—particularly when their side is playing as well as Tottenham Hotspur currently are.
Do you think that Brad Friedel will retire at the end of the season?
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