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Brentford have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha on a free transfer.
The Albanian international left Italian side Lazio when his contract expired at the end of last season, and has now signed a four-year deal with the west London club.
Strakosha made over 200 appearances for Lazio and was their first-choice ‘keeper for large periods of his seven-year stint at the club.
“I am pleased that we have managed to sign a top goalkeeper,” Bees boss Thomas Frank said. “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.”
Strakosha will provide competition for Raya, while Cox signed a new long-term contract this summer after starring as England’s U19s won their European Championship.
Raya’s absence with a serious knee injury was keenly felt last term, with deputy Alvaro Fernandez struggling to the fill the void.
Both the Spaniard and Jonas Lossl, who joined on loan in January, have returned to their parent clubs.
“I’m very pleased that Thomas has joined us,” goalkeeper coach Manu Sotelo added. “With him in our goalkeeper union, we will have a nice competition that will provide a step up for everyone. Thomas is an experienced goalkeeper who has played a lot in Serie A and for Albania.
“He fits perfectly with the sort of goalkeeper we want here. He can give us a lot of solutions playing from the back, he is an outstanding shot stopper and is very good positionally. When we spoke to him, he showed his desire to come and work hard to make himself and our other goalkeepers better.”