I couldn't find a thread on here for Strakosha, who IMHO is the best GK option for us out there ATM (and only £30-35m too), so here is one.
Date of Birth (Age): Mar 19, 1995 (23)
Place of Birth: Athens Greece
Height: 1,93 m
Agent: Football Capital
Current international: AlbaniaAlbania
2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1
The first edition of this season’s Talent Radar Performance Rankings kicks off with the young keepers. Last season, the rankings were dominated by Gianluigi Donnarumma and Yoan Cardinale. With the latter now ineligible for this feature, Donnarumma could potentially become the first player to retain his top spot across all four position categories.
But the rankings start off with Bruno Varela, who has an important season at Benfica, having to replace Ederson who impressed last season, earning his move to Manchester City. The Portuguese side have had a slightly inconsistent start both domestically and in Europe, much like Varela. The 22-year-old kept two cleansheets in August, but has had some poor showings – most notably against Rio Ave as he mis-controlled a tame cross onto his own defender for an own goal.
Defending champion Gianluigi Donnarumma, after a turbulent summer in terms of transfer rumours, is in fourth place. He started the season with a clean sheet against Crotone but has failed to keep another since. While he continues to impress with his dominance in the box, more consistently solid performances (and less of the kind we saw against Lazio) will propel him towards the top of these rankings.
Cameroonian Andre Onana finished in the top five of these rankings last season and he started this campaign as Ajax’s number one once again despite their summer managerial change. Much like his side, Onana has had a sub-par start to the season mixed with some fabulous performances – for instance he made six important saves on opening day against Heracles but the side ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 loss. Losing to Rosenborg in the Europa League qualifiers didn’t help either.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is in second spot after some impressive showings in goal for Athletic Bilbao, specifically in the 1-0 win over Eibar. The 22-year-old Spaniard has patiently waited for a regular run of games in the first team and seems to have been rewarded for his perseverance. More to come this season from him for sure!
And the leader of the first edition this season is 22-year-old Thomas Strakosha who becomes the first Albanian to feature in our Talent Radar Performance Rankings across all positional categories. While he did manage a cleansheet in Lazio’s frustrating stalemate with SPAL, his most impressive performance came in the memorable 4-1 win over AC Milan. Despite conceding late on to Riccardo Montolivo, the young keeper will certainly be proud of his showing that evening.
STRAK ATTACK Who is Thomas Strakosha? Taking a closer look at the Lazio star tipped to be the new Liverpool goalkeeper
The 23-year-old is expected to arrive at Anfield in a £30 million deal
Born in Athens in March 1995, Strakosha grew up idolising his father, Foto, who was playing for Olympiakos at the time.
Like his father, the 23-year-old has opted to represent Albania at international level – he has been part of the set-up since the Under-17s and has five senior caps to his name.
He made his debut in August 2016 against Italy in a World Cup qualifier which was almost called off.
Albanian fans bombarded the pitch in Palermo with flares and smoke bombs – meaning the players had to seek refuge in the tunnel.
He cites Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer as his goalkeeping heroes, openly admitting to try and model his game on the latter.
After being scouted by Lazio as a youngster, Strakosha joined the Serie A side in 2012, helping the primavera (youth team) win their respective league.
In the 2012-13 season, he made the step-up to the senior squad and was named as third choice behind Federico Marchetti and Albano Bizzarri – helping the Romans win the Coppa Italia.
After extending his contract in 2014, he was sent on loan the following year to Salernitana.
After impressing with the Serie B side and subsequent injuries to their first-choice options, the Albanian was promoted to the Lazio No.1 spot in 2016 and has not looked back since.
Last season, the goalkeeper had a pass success rate of 71.6% and it is obvious to see where Neuer’s influence has had an effect.
He has the ability to play the ball long and set up attacks for his side.
He kept 17 clean sheets in 53 appearances in all competitions last season and is a great shot-stopper because of his large frame.
I think he would be great for us!!