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Newcastle United Showing Interest In Recruiting This Serie A Keeper: Good Option For The Magpies?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Sun mentioned that Newcastle United are showing interest in recruiting Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha during the January transfer window. It is believed that the Magpies are hoping to agree on a pre-contract agreement with the Albanian custodian when the winter transfer window commences at the start of next year.

Strakosha’s Limited Role For Lazio This Season

Strakosha’s current contract at the Stadio Olimpico runs out at the end of this campaign. Hence, the Tyneside outfit has a good chance to bring him to St. James’ Park on a free transfer next summer.

The Athen-born goalkeeper has been a rotational keeper for Lazio this season but has caught the eye with his performances in the UEFA Europa League. Strakosha has featured in four matches for the Italian outfit during this campaign, conceding three goals and picking up two clean sheets across multiple competitions.

The 26-year-old has done well to average 3.3 long balls per 90 minutes in the Europa League. He has even distributed the ball accurately, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 80% in European football (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United (Thomas Strakosha)
ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 19: Thomas Strakosha of SS Lazio looks on as he warms up prior to the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on September 19, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
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Is Strakosha A Good Option For Newcastle United?

Strakosha has decent reflexes in his locker that help him pull off a few crucial saves at the back. He is a solid handler of the ball and can come out of his lines to collect crosses and loose balls inside his penalty area.

The 16-time Albania international is a good passer of the ball and can even spray some long passes to the front players. Hence, he could be a decent option for Newcastle United to pursue next year. At 26, Strakosha’s peak years are ahead of him.

The Magpies have got Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman fighting for a regular starting spot at St. James’ Park. We can expect Strakosha to be an upgrade over them as he has got the quality to succeed as Newcastle‘s primary keeper in the coming seasons. The fact that the Lazio keeper would be available on a free transfer makes him a worthy target for the Magpies to consider at the end of this campaign.

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