Southampton are close to agreeing a new contract with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy ahead of the 2021/22 season.
This is according to the Athletic’s Dan Sheldon, who claims that an agreement is not too far away after negotiations began in early 2021.
McCarthy made 31 appearances last season and developed his game well when he had the ball at his feet. However, he found fellow shot-stopper Fraser Forster pushing in front of him at times and this has raised questions about who will be Ralph Hasenhuttl’s number one.
In 112 games in all for Saints, the 31-year-old has kept 29 clean sheets and seven of those shutouts were during 2020/21.
McCarthy gets vote of confidence from Southampton boss Hasenhuttl
McCarthy began last season as Saints’ first-choice goalkeeper and was a big part of a successful run that saw the team top the table at one point. A solid defence and confident goalkeeping saw clean sheets and points earned.
More from Saints Marching
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 2: Arrivals
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 1: Departures
- It’s time to talk about Gavin Bazunu
- Rain clouds on the horizon? Southampton beat Plymouth Argyle
- A lament for Southampton legend James Ward-Prowse
His own form suffered as things went collectively downhill though. Saints started to leak goals and ended the Premier League campaign with the second-worst defensive record – only relegated West Brom conceded more over the course of 38 fixtures.
Some of Fraser Forster’s displays caught the eye too and would have had supporters wondering who will win the battle to claim the place between the sticks in the long-term, although both players had days where they performed well.
It is certainly a strange situation for the club to deal with. Having two level-pegging goalkeepers of similar age to deal with at one time is unusual, and both of them have seen off the threat of the much younger Angus Gunn who has been sold permanently to Norwich City.
Although it is not ideal, this is something that Saints will have to deal with. Both McCarthy and Forster showed an ability to adapt their game to suit the team during the last campaign and it seems both will get the chance to prove they are what is required into the future.