Brentford already have a goalkeeper that can mix it with the best, with Spain’s David Raya a regular in Luis Enrique’s squad at this point. Yet he will now face competition from Albanian international Thomas Strakosha, who the signed with the Bees on Thursday afternoon.
Joining on a free transfer after his contract at Lazio ran down, Strakosha is also used to being first choice, having been a regular since winning his place back in 2017. Brentford are just the third club of Strakosha’s career. Having come through the ranks in Rome, the 27-year-old spent a solitary season away from the club in 2015/16 on loan at Salernitana.
Speaking to the club media, manager Thomas Franke highlighted his pedigree.
“I am pleased that we have managed to sign a top goalkeeper. He has been number one at Lazio for a long time, which is very impressive. He has played in Serie A and European competition and will bring that experience with him. He fits our goalkeeper model and comes in to a good environment with David Raya and Matthew Cox pushing each other every day.”
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) July 14, 2022
Strakosha is Brentford’s third signing of the summer, following promising youngsters Keane Lewis-Potter and Aaron Hickey in the door, who joined for a combined of just under £32m.
The most pressing issue may be midfield however. If, as looks to be the case, Christian Eriksen will not return, then Franke’s biggest task will be to replace the creativity the Danish veteran provided. His impact at Brentford was considerable and without Eriksen, Brentford may face the same struggles before he arrived in January.