Liverpool’s determined Champions League run saw them reach the final but a couple of howlers from custodian Loris Karius shattered their dreams and Real Madrid secured their third European title in a row by winning 3-1 in Kiev.
The Reds have had a long-standing issue between the sticks as neither Simon Mignolet nor Karius did enough to instil confidence in goal. Yet the German showed signs of improvement and Jurgen Klopp made him the club’s first-choice goalkeeper in January, replacing Mignolet. But it seems Liverpool are in search of a new goalkeeper, following Karius’ horror-showing in the Champions League final.
The likes of Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Yann Sommer , Alisson Becker and Jan Oblak have all been linked with a move to Anfield, with Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha, being the latest name on the list. Liverpool hold a cordial relationship with the Serie A side, following the transfer of Lucas Leiva last summer, with Marko Grujic also being on Lazio’s radar.
Strakosha flourished in the 2016/17 season and eventually emerged as Lazio’s first-choice custodian. Although the Biancocelesti narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification, Strakosha was lauded for his impressive displays last season.
He is reportedly available for a fee of around €30m but the Reds must avoid a swoop for the Lazio ace and try to lure in a prolific goalkeeper of Alisson or Oblak’s stature. Liverpool must invest in a world-class custodian even if they are forced to break the bank.
Klopp did not hesitate to splash £75m to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January, and the presence of the Dutch centre-back made an instant impact in bringing back stability to Liverpool’s vulnerable backline.
The approach needs to be similar if the charismatic German manager is desperate to acquire a custodian, else he should bank on the available resources at Anfield rather than wrapping up a deal for Strakosha, who conceded 49 times in 38 league outings last season, despite keeping 11 clean sheets – a statistics not convincing enough to earn him a starting spot at Liverpool, who are expected to mount a serious title challenge next season.
The youngster, nevertheless, is full of potential and possesses all the attributes to become a top-notch goalkeeper in the future. But he must keep up his good work and prepare himself to move to a bigger club in due course.