Southampton are reportedly interested in signing goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco from Deportivo Alaves this summer and, if he were to join, he could usurp both Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster and become first choice under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
According to reports from Spanish outlet El Gol Digital, Leeds United and Southampton are keen on signing the 28-year-old shot-stopper this summer, with both reportedly willing to pay the €10m (£8.6m) that Alaves would demand for their number one.
The former Real Madrid youngster has been a mainstay in Alaves’ side for the past six years since joining on a free transfer from Los Blancos, making 207 appearances, in which he has conceded 257 goals and kept 67 clean sheets.
It seems as if the Spanish ‘keeper also has the advantage when it comes to saving shots, as he scores 98/100 for the expected goals per shot he faces, meaning he concedes far less than expected, whereas McCarthy scores 82/100 in this statistic.
It has been suggested that McCarthy has had the edge over Forster for much of the season because of his ability with the ball at his feet, but it seems clear that Pacheco would be an upgrade from this perspective, with WhoScored also suggesting that his main strength as a goalkeeper is his long passing.
Forster has been between the sticks for recent games against Everton and Sheffield United and, whilst he boasts an impressive clean sheet record on his rare appearances this season, it seems clear that Hasenhuttl sees him as second choice behind McCarthy.
The former Celtic loanee is also 32 and McCarthy is 31, and whilst that isn’t particularly old for a goalkeeper, Pacheco is 28 and therefore could be a fixture in this Southampton team for the next few years he were to join.
Considering Alaves currently sit 19th in La Liga, it seems likely that if Southampton were to come knocking in the summer following Alaves’ possible relegation from the Spanish top flight, then Pacheco could be easily convinced by a move to the south coast of England.
Therefore, Martin Semmens should definitely try and bring him to the Premier League, as the statistics seem to suggest that he would fit in well in Hasenhuttl’s side and could be an upgrade on both McCarthy and Forster.