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Southampton Linked With Lazio Goalkeeper
Thursday, 20th May 2021 08:23

With Ralph Hasenhuttl seemingly unsure on his long term options for first choice keeper at St Mary's there will be a plethora of available shot stoppers linked with a move to Saints, here is the first candidate as the transfer window silly season approaches.

Media sources in Italy are suggesting that Saints are interested in Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha who was reportably the subject of a £43 million pound bid from Liverpool a couple of years ago.

But his star has slightly waned this season and he has dropped down to second choice behind Pepe Raina in the pecking order this season and with a year left on his contract it is being suggested that Lazio would listen to offers in the region of £12 -15 million.

Strakosha although an Albanian international was born in Athens and started his career with clubs in the Athens area, but was spotted by Lazio in 2012 aged just 17 and joined their youth team,

In 2015 he was loaned to newly promoted Serie B side Salernitana and spent a year there before returning to Lazio, 2016/17 would be his breakthrough season and for that and the following 3 seasons he would be first choice.

But this season he has suffered a knee injury and also Covid 19 and this meant that veteran Pepe Raina has taken the number 1 spot and when fit and available has spent much of the time on the bench.

With his contract up next season Lazio are said to be willing to sell now rather than lose him for nothing next year, for his part the 6ft 4 inch Albanian international is said to be seeking a new challenge and Saints could fit the bill in the Premier League.

If Strakosha did arrive Saints would be looking to offload 3 of their 4 keepers on the books, Harry Lewis sees his current deal end in June and there are rumours that both Norwich & Stoke would be interested in Angus Gunn, that means that Saints would then look to make a choice between Alex McCarthy & Fraser Forster as number 2 and with both out of contract in June 2022 McCarthy would perhaps offer the best opportunity of getting a fee.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 10:37 - May 20
Clearly the goalie situation is still painfully unclear.
Angus Gunn doesn't appear to be the solution to the extra goalie place, and the transfer fee involved does little credit to those who were responsible for buying him.
Ralph has seemingly planned to let him move on, and so we need a fresh name.

Fraser Forster looks better and more confident since returning from Celtic and his stats. show a vast improvement . In 5 FA Cup games he conceded just ONE goal (in Semi-final) and conceded 11 goals in his 8 league games this season.
The big question now relates to Alex McCarthy, and although we can all point to good saves he has made in various fixtures, the stats. involved are nothing short of frightening. In his 29 league games AM has picked the ball out of his net .. 54 times.
Our goals against are the second worst in the Prem. - after relegated West Brom.

I'm the first to admit that not every goal we let in is a keeper's fault, but both men have (more or less ) played behind the same backline (JB, JV and/or JS) , who must also take their share of responsibility for their mistakes, but the fact remains we cannot go into next season with the same CB's and hope that things "might improve " for the keepers.

Fortunately, it's not my task to replace players, and it's always difficult to say that we must replace such a nice guy as Alex, but there is a time for change, and it's clear that the goalie spot will not be the only one under scrutiny in the summer.

I'd definitely keep FF , but the club must make some serious decisions about who we have between the posts , and not just " hope for better luck next season".


dirk_doone added 11:33 - May 20
He rarely plays nowadays. With his dodgy knees would he pass the medical?


Whatsforpud added 12:13 - May 20
At the moment we are alternating with two keepers, neither of whom are premier league standard. Each time McCarthy has a poor game, everyone calls for Forster to be in the team. Forster must be the tallest keeper in the league, but rarely comes out to claim crosses, even in front of goal within the 6-yard area. Also, how many times do you see him catching a ball to make a save. Too many times he pushes the ball out when it should have been gathered, or punches out hard, but straight shots. He is sometimes effective in sticking a leg out to save, but other keeping would be diving down it. Basically not enough catching.There have been so many impressive performances from other keepers in this league- my winner is Martinez of Villa.

Colburn added 13:59 - May 20
Agree with whatsforpud, Martinez has been th best this season, what a clanger by Arsenal.. As for us, it feels like we're always wishing that the other keeper is in goal, whoever it is... Neither keeper is in the top 20 in the league for me, neither is the worst but the three promoted teams have better keepers. I only hope our recruitment is better now than it was with Reed calling the shots. I don't see us being able to offload FF too easily with his wage and maybe we'll be stuck with both of them for another year. I felt Gunn had the best potential but had too much to learn when he played for us. My biggest frustration is seeing the likes of West Brom and Leeds pick up players like Perreira and Rafinha, among others who are a different level to the £10-12m purchases we have made with attacking or creative midfielders. Only Armstrong can claim any sort of consistency with end product as the likes of Boufal, Redmond, Djenepo have never really shown the level of those two at Brom and Leeds. In addition we spent our budget on players who aren't the finished article for the same sort of fees other teams buy a finished article with, or at least someone who instantly hits the ground..
I don't rate our keepers much, they look like they're coached by the Fonz, they are so laid back, but we really need full backs and another no.10 who isn't Walcott or Minamino.

NewburySaint added 22:25 - May 20
Don’t be fooled by his recent lack of game time because Strakosha is a top keeper.

Not sure how true this rumour is though….

ElijahK added 00:29 - May 21
Nether of our goalies are PL quality really. As McCarthy does mess up, but he also pulls off some cracking saves, but in all fairness Forsters no different. At the end of the day, nether are PL quality, but when you compare them, their saving skills are equal, one comes out too much (McCarthy) whilst the other comes out too little (Forster)! The only blatant thing that separates them is their distribution to outfield players, and that’s McCarthys game all day long as he can actually hit it to our own players, whilst Forster just hits it out for an opposing throw on!

Saint4Life247 added 11:45 - May 21
Always good to see new players come in to freshen things up and add some competition to things.
I do however question how good our coaching staff is tbh. A good coach can improve any player if the desire is there. Some of our players are not fantastic but with the right coaching they should be good to hold their own most of the time.
A sports psychologist would be beneficial (assuming we haven't got one) and perhaps better fitness instructors (because the entire team has struggled to play 90mins)
Its highly likely we will sign Walcott - waste of money in my opinion - just read that Joe Willock is probably going to sign to Newcastle for £20m - How are we not linked to these players? it always seems like we miss out (KWP aside)

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