Chelsea are reportedly keeping tabs on 27-year-old Albanian goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, who is available as a free agent this summer.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have expressed interest in Thomas Strakosha. The 27-year-old Albanian goalkeeper is available as a free agent this summer after playing out his contract at Serie A club Lazio at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
Formerly of APOEL, Strakosha had been a member of Lazio since 2012. During his decade-long spell at the club, the goalkeeper racked up over 200 competitive appearances, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Serie A and by far the most gifted goalkeeping talent in his native Albania.
Standing at 1.93m, Strakosha is rated highly due to the imposing frame that allows him to cover a large area in goal. The 27-year-old is also known for his razor-sharp reflexes and the ability to impose himself inside the box, thus making him an ideal fit in the Premier League.
With the Albanian international seeing out his contract at Lazio this past season, his status as a free agent has put several clubs on red alert. Chelsea are no exception, as they consider the possibility of snapping up the custodian on a Bosman move this summer.
The Blues are bracing themselves for a summer of change, especially in the defensive unit. Although their main goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has enjoyed unprecedented success in between the sticks at Stamford Bridge, the club will likely part ways with Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spaniard has failed to live up to the expectations following his big-money move from Athletic Club to Chelsea. He has also seen his game-time wither due to Mendy’s rapid rise to prominence, which has ultimately led to speculation over the goalkeeper’s future at Stamford Bridge.
In an awkward turn of fate, Kepa has been linked with a move to SS Lazio. He is ready to join the Serie A outfit by taking a massive pay cut, meaning he could end up replacing Strakosha for the upcoming campaign.
The Albanian, in turn, could join Chelsea to replace Kepa and serve as the main deputy for Mendy in between the sticks. Given his experience and pedigree at the highest level of football, one would expect Strakosha to offer stiff competition to Mendy and given his status as a free agent, the 27-year-old could be nothing short of a bargain for the Blues this summer.