With the transfer window officially open as of yesterday, everything is pointing to Southampton signing a new goalkeeper this summer.
Reports broke yesterday – firstly from an exclusive from Dan Sheldon and Michael Bailey of the Athletic – that Angus Gunn was close to joining Norwich City in a deal that could rise to £7m.
Gunn is back with Saints after his loan deal with Stoke City was cut short. He was supposed to be at the bet365 stadium until the end of next season having also spent last season there but the deal was cut short with Saints sensing an opportunity to find a permanent transfer.
Via a report from Prost International’s Jacob Tanswell too, third-choice goalkeeper Harry Lewis has signed a secretive new contract with Saints but is set for a loan move – suggesting that there will be space for someone new behind Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster in 2021/22.
Who will become Southampton’s goalkeeper for the next year?
Ralph Hasenhuttl gave both his senior goalkeepers a chance to prove their worth in the past campaign. Alex McCarthy made 31 appearances in all competitions to Fraser Forster’s 13, but both were regularly switched after January and towards the final games.
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Looking at both their performances, it is fair to say that Forster made a bigger impression overall. He was a more dominant presence and this was only shown more by a couple of shaky displays from McCarthy in the final weeks.
For that reason, it may be that Forster takes a leading role. The situation behind him and McCarthy could start to get interesting though.
Angus Gunn looks set to move on to a club he already knows well in Norwich after his time at Saints did not work out, and Harry Lewis may well push for a loan move for first-team game time.
Maybe, for that reason, Saints will look to sign a young goalkeeper with the hope that he will become their number one in a few years’ time.
They could leave McCarthy and Forster to battle it out but having no third option is very risky. Ideally, both would be challenged for their position by a fresh face , although their own futures are not exactly certain either.
In the last two months, three goalkeepers have been linked with a move to St Mary’s – Josh Griffiths of West Brom after his impressive spell with Cheltenham Town, Thomas Strakosha of Lazio with his ongoing contract situation and Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman after his loan spell with Swansea City in the Championship.