The date was December 28, 2014, and the score was Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester United 0.
In the aftermath of the Premier League stalemate, television pundits talked about a player from each side that deserved to labelled among English football’s best.
Both David de Gea and Hugo Lloris had made spectacular saves to keep their respective clean sheets intact, with the Tottenham custodian particularly impressive in making five top-drawer stops.
While the Spaniard’s growing influence at United and subsequent potential was discussed, it was generally accepted that the Spurs goalkeeper was the more-rounded option and one of the Premier League’s best.
It was not only the Tottenham star’s shot-stopping ability but his composure, reliability, experience and presence that resulted in glowing testimonies.
Fast forward three years to the current day and De Gea is widely recognised as not only the best goalkeeper in England, but arguably in the world.
Tottenham stopper Lloris however, has seen his reputation tarnished somewhat by individual errors that have cost both his club and country.
Where the France international was once unflappable, he now does not inspire the same level of wholehearted confidence.
Lloris’ high-profile error for France away to Sweden in World Cup qualifiers cost Didier Deschamps’ men points last year, while over the last two seasons the Tottenham goalkeeper has been guilty of the concession of soft goals.
However, is it time that Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs started to think of a succession plan?
At 31, Lloris still has a fair few years left in him at the top level and his continued selection for France, as national captain no less, show the standing in which the 94-cap veteran is held.
At Tottenham, the French goalkeeper is an automatic first choice and rightly so, with the former Lyon man seemingly set to maintain his position in the starting XI for another couple of seasons.
While occasional mistakes have crept into Lloris’ game, there is no doubting his importance to Spurs and his influence over a relatively young squad is considerable.
However, this will not last forever and Tottenham should start to think about a long-term successor to the goalkeeper who could be incorporated into the club’s first-team squad and be given a chance to improve under Pochettino.
Current deputies Michel Vorm and Paulo Gazzaniga seem unlikely to fit the bill once the time to replace Lloris comes, despite the latter’s age, and as such it seems strange that a deal to sign Pau Lopez permanently was not concluded in the summer.
The 23-year-old is a former Spain under-21 goalkeeper, already has plenty of La Liga experience and is a favourite of Pochettino given their mutual time at Espanyol.
Whether Tottenham return to sign Lopez in the future remains to be seen, but one way or the other Spurs should be searching for youthful goalkeeper talent – Lloris remains a top goalkeeper but the increase in individual mistakes indicate that he is not evergreen.