Alex McCarthy became the latest Southampton player to commit his future to the club earlier this week, although fans may not be too happy with the decision.
Southampton confirmed on Wednesday that the 31-year-old had been rewarded with a new three-year contract at St Mary’s, with Ralph Hasenhuttl set to stick with the former QPR man as his first choice ahead of Fraser Forster this season.
Both McCarthy and Forster’s contracts were set to expire at the end of the current campaign and the former’s new contract paves the way for the latter to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Hasenhuttl suggested earlier this month that:
“We will definitely extend the contract of one of the two keepers, then the other one will leave. I think that, in the future, we will look to sign a new goalkeeper.”
Therefore, it looks as if Saints fans will have to wait until next summer to see a new ‘keeper arrive, with any new signing likely to replace Forster and compete with McCarthy for the starting spot in between the sticks.
However, Southampton fans may not be too happy that McCarthy was the one handed a new deal reportedly worth £50k per week, as his performances in the second half of last season were far from good enough and his two displays so far this season won’t fill fans with much confidence.
The shot-stopper, who has previously been dubbed “fantastic” by the manager, was slow off his line for two of Everton’s goals in the opening fixture whilst he was beaten by a tame effort from Mason Greenwood in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Last season saw Southampton concede 68 top-flight goals despite having an xGA of just 58.55, which suggests that the goalkeepers must take a fair portion of the blame for their woeful defensive record.
It also perhaps won’t fill McCarthy with confidence that Hasenhuttl is already planning on bringing a new ‘keeper in as the long-term solution in goal, so hopefully, his form doesn’t continue to suffer.