Southampton fell to a 2-1 defeat to Norwich City yesterday and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy received criticism from supporters for failing to keep out the conceded goals.
Beaten by tame efforts at his near post on both occasions, the 31-year-old did not have one his better days in a Saints shirt and will know he has to perform better to stay as the club’s goalkeeper for the long-term.
It is fair to say that McCarthy’s time with Southampton has been hot and cold. He is capable of excellent displays that prove crucial in winning points for his team, but also had an occasional mistake that can cost his team at any time.
Yesterday’s game in particular will only emphasise the situation that the club will need to address next summer.
Southampton must add a goalkeeper to displace McCarthy from line-up
Reports from journalists close to Saints – including the Athletic’s Dan Sheldon and Hampshire Live’s Tom Leach – have confirmed that a goalkeeper will be signed ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Fraser Forster is expected to leave on a free transfer and Alex McCarthy will be handed a new three-year deal if those reports are to be proven correct. Despite this shake-up between the sticks, competition will remain the key to helping the team progress as a unit and producing better form from McCarthy himself.
What must surely happen is a younger goalkeeper capable of starting Premier League games being signed to push McCarthy out of the team.
West Brom’s Sam Johnstone has already been heavily linked to St Mary’s and Manchester United’ Dean Henderson is said to be free to leave Old Trafford, with both potentially on Southampton’s radar given their previous exploits in the Premier League.
Not only will this give a fresh and more suited addition behind a defence of real potential but it will also cause the current Southampton number 1 to assess his own game to regain his starting place.
Saints must maximise their own potential by bringing in the best possible players they can and the goalkeeping position looks to be the main area where they can aim higher.