Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha has admitted that he dreams of playing in the Premier League, amid reports linking West Ham United with a £25 million summer swoop, while speaking to the Guardian.
If the Albania international was considering a move away from Lazio – and all the signs suggest he is – then missing out on place in the starting XI for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier with England might just have made his mind up.
Strakosha has fallen behind the veteran Pepe Reina at the Stadio Olimpico. And it seems that his lack of game time at club level is now holding him back on the international stage too, with SPAL’s Etrit Berisha standing between the sticks against Gareth Southgate’s men in Tirana.
According to Il Messaggero, Strakosha is refusing to extend a contract which expires in 2022. As a result, Lazio will cash in if an offer of £25 million arrives during the upcoming summer transfer window.
After West Ham made their interest known (Calciomercato), the Greek-born goalkeeper did not miss an opportunity to state his Premier League ambitions.
“I like how they play in the Premier League. They play so fast, there are so many shots and you have so much work to do. I enjoy doing a lot of work, as it lets me show my best and gets my adrenaline up,” said Strakosha.
“I believe the Premier League has the best football: the speed of it, the reaction you can see in the game. You see games that are 3-0 until the 88th minute and finish 3-3.
“They have crazy moments in the Premier League, and the fans are so close to the pitch, it is unbelievable. You would want to play two games a day due to the unbelievable feeling.
“When I have been to play friendly matches against English teams, the atmosphere was unbelievable. It’s everyone’s dream to play in the Premier League.”
According to the Guardian, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and even Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City have come close to bringing Strakosha to Britain in recent years.
Could West Ham succeed where their many top-flight rivals have failed? Though, with Lukasz Fabianski signing a new deal at the London Stadium, Strakosha could not be guaranteed a starting berth under David Moyes either.