Southampton are keeping tabs on Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha ahead of the summer transfer window, as reported by La Repubblica via Sport Witness.
What’s the latest news on Thomas Strakosha?
The Premier League outfit reportedly want to bring in a new goalkeeper for next season, and have identified Strakosha as a potential target.
It seems that Strakosha could be open to a move to England, as it is claimed that he is expected to leave Lazio in search of a fresh challenge at the end of the season.
What are Strakosha’s stats this season?
The Albania international, who has 15 caps for his country, has endured a difficult campaign in the Italian capital.
The 6 foot 4 shot-stopper has fallen out of favour in recent months, and has been limited to just 8 Serie A appearances, having spent most of the campaign as Pepe Reina’s understudy.
In the games that he has played, he has managed to keep three clean sheets, two of which have come in his last two matches for the side.
How much would Strakosha cost Southampton?
It’s claimed Liverpool once had a €50m (£43m) bid rejected and while we can’t find anything concrete to back that up, it does appear that he was once valued at precisely that figure by Lazio, as per reports from Calciomercato in 2019.
Strakosha only has one year left on his Lazio contract, indicating that the Italian club are not in the strongest position when it comes to negotiating a fee for him, as the 26-year-old will be a free agent in 2022.
Would he be an upgrade on Alex McCarthy?
McCarthy has struggled this season, conceding 54 goals in 29 games. Southampton have shipped the second-most goals in the division and need to get this key position sorted ahead of the 2021/22 season.
When looking at Strakosha and McCarthy’s statistics across their career, it is clear that Strakosha would be a much better option between the sticks than his English counterpart.
According to Fb Ref, Strakosha has a save percentage of 73.1% to McCarthy’s 70.2%. Strakosha also has a superior clean sheet percentage (28.7% to 23.6%) and has saved 13.3% of the penalties that he has faced to McCarthy’s 9.1%.
When you also factor in that Strakosha has played at international level, featured in the Europa League regularly and made his Champions League debut this season, while McCarthy has not participated at that level at all, it’s clear Strakosha would bring a wealth of experience with him as well.
There is a reason that Liverpool were willing to splash the cash on him at one point, and Strakosha hasn’t lost his ability, having only turned 26 in March.
He is likely to have his best years ahead of him, and if Southampton get to see them at St Mary’s it could lead to them having a much-improved defensive record over the coming years.