Albania international goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha has joined us on a free transfer. The 27-year-old left Italian side Lazio last month at the end of his contract. He is the latest addition to Brentford’s squad ahead of the upcoming 2022/23 Premier League season and has signed a three-year deal plus 12-month option, subject to international clearance.

Thomas comes to Brentford having played more than 200 times for Lazio and more than 150 Serie A matches. He also has played 19 times for Albania. He will link up with the Brentford First Team squad on a pre-season training camp in Germany in the coming days.

Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: "I am pleased that we have managed to sign a top goalkeeper. 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."

Manu Sotelo, Brentford FC Goalkeeper Coach, added: "I’m very pleased that Thomas has joined us. 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."

Thomas was born in Greece when his father Fotakis – better known as Foto, also an Albanian international goalkeeper – was playing there. He started out at Panionios but joined Lazio in 2012 when he was 17. His first games for the Rome club were in their Under-19 side and he had a loan spell at Unione Sportiva Salernitana 1919, making his professional debut in Serie B, in the 2015/16 season.

Since his return to Lazio in the summer of 2016, Thomas has spent long spells as the first-choice goalkeeper. He only missed three matches between the start of the 2017/18 season and end of the 2019/20 campaign and helped Lazio win the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in 2019. He also made his debut for Albania in 2017.

Injuries restricted his appearances in the 2020/21 campaign but by the end of last season he had confirmed a place as Lazio’s starting goalkeeper, playing the last 23 Serie A games and helping them finish fifth in the table. Thomas also played in their UEFA Europa League campaign. He leaves Lazio having played 208 matches and kept 62 clean sheets. He has also represented Albania at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level as well as playing 19 full internationals.