'Woeful' - Exclusive: Darren Bent rips into 'Really ropey' Tottenham mainstay

Darren Bent has blasted Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga for his role in what has been a “woeful” defence from the north Londoners this season.

The former Spurs and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says he is a big fan of the Argentine stopper but that he has still struggled at times between the sticks.

Gazzaniga has been a mainstay in the starting XI for the Lilywhites since Hugo Lloris’ serious injury blow, playing his 12th game of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday.

However, despite suggesting that the 27-year-old should be the first choice between the sticks, Bent admits he is still not convinced with how the defence are performing for Jose Mourinho.

“I think he’s got to address that back five,” Bent told Football Insider.

“I like Gazzaniga and I think he should be the number one but even he at times looks really, really ropey.

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“Defensively, between goalkeeper and centre-half they need to do something there, which I think he will do.  For me, Spurs defensively still look a bit woeful. They still leave a lot of gaps and still can’t seem to find the right combination at centre-half.

“Mourinho is a defensive minded coach. I don’t think he’d have appreciated conceding two goals at home in a Champions League game either.”

Half of Gazzaniga’s 24 appearances for Tottenham have come during the 2019/20 campaign despite having been in north London since the summer of 2017.

Lloris is expected to return to fitness in early 2020, having suffered a dislocated elbow and ligament damage which required surgery.

In other Tottenham news, Football Insider can reveal that Mauricio Pochettino was pivotal in securing a new contract for one Spurs player before his exit.