It was revealed earlier this week that Southampton have offered a new deal to Harry Lewis, which is another strange goalkeeping call by Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach revealed on Twitter that Lewis was handed a one-year contract extension back in January, which was only made public this week.
The club has yet to announce the deal but he wasn’t included on their released list earlier this week, which was cause for confusion as his initial deal was set to expire at the end of this month.
It seems quite strange that the 23-year-old was offered a new deal at St Mary’s when you consider that he has made just three appearances for the senior side during his career, the last of which came in the 2016/17 season.
Lewis’ last taste of senior football was in a loan spell at Dundee United in the 2017/18 campaign and he has spent the three subsequent seasons playing with Southampton’s academy teams.
Therefore, it feels almost cruel by Hasenhuttl to offer him fresh hope with another contract, as it seems highly unlikely that he will get any game-time in the first team next season, and it therefore prevents him from getting regular senior football in the lower leagues, which could prove to be bad for his career.
It is not the first strange call the Austrian has made regarding his goalkeepers at Southampton in recent weeks, as he also confirmed that Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster would both be competing for a starting spot again next season, despite neither looking wholly convincing in the 2020/21 campaign.
Only relegated West Brom conceded more goals than Southampton last season and it seems clear that a new first-choice ‘keeper should be brought in ahead of next term, but Hasenhuttl appears happy with his current options.
Considering that Angus Gunn is also set to return after a less than impressive loan spell at Stoke City, Lewis will likely be fourth-choice at St Mary’s next season. If he isn’t careful, he could spend his whole career sitting on the bench rather than getting game-time in the lower divisions and making a name for himself there.