Finding out the top 5 English Premier League Goalkeepers is a really tough job. There are so many standards to be considered while selecting them. Here, in this short list, we are mostly emphasising on these Premier League Goalkeepers’ previous and present records, as well as their market value.
The top flight of English football is blessed with many of the world’s top goalkeepers, but here we take a look at five of the best.
5. Fraser Forster (Southampton)
Forster’s consistent performances don’t always garner the accolades they deserve. Southampton backline is bolstered with some excellent defenders like Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte, but their decent defensive record over the past few seasons is also because of their goalkeeper.
Forster is especially adept at close range efforts in the box, as he spreads out his considerable frame just like Peter Schmeichel did back in the day.
You can’t blame him for feeling aggrieved that Joe Hart, despite a row of mistakes in recent times, and the newly promoted Tom Heaton, appear to be ahead of him in the England national team’s pecking order.
4. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
As you all know, the Belgian shot-stopper stands at over six feet and six inches, and unbelievably has an arm span of a Boeing 747. This fact alone forces the goal look a bit smaller for his opponents. It also helps him to come up with a commanding presence in the box and exceptionally well under the high ball.
It is easy to forget he is only 23 years of age, keeping in mind he has been playing at such a high level for a few seasons now.
But, there are some who still question Chelsea’s shock decision to let go of Petr Cech in favour of the younger keeper. Courtois faced a difficult last season under former boss Jose Mourinho. It was a poor one, disrupted with small mistakes, although very few members of Chelsea team from the last term ended the campaign with any credit.
Courtois has, however, begun this season under new boss Antonio Conte with great confidence, but he has to show the consistency of Cech if he is to be regarded as the former Chelsea man’s equal or superior.
3. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
The French No.1 cannot deny the odd mistake lying deep inside his strengths, but due to excellent athleticism and agility, no doubt he has few peers.
Lloris is known for shot stopping ability, decision making in one on one situations, and for his command of the box. The 29-year-old began his career at Nice, before making the switch to Lyon in 2008. He continued to grow in confidence at Lyon, and in 2012, Daniel Levy made his move to bring Lloris to White Hart Lane.
The Frenchman quickly became an instrumental figure in the Tottenham team, and one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. The evidence of this can be seen this season, and Tottenham will require to hang on to players like Lloris if their young team is to continue to make progress.
He is a fantastic warrior standing like a wall, the last man of defence, and when Tottenham switch to their high pressing game, he has the required speed and awareness to play the sweeper keeper role just like Manuel Neuer does.
Tottenham will benefit immensely by holding on to him in the future, as he is not short of admirers.
2. Petr Cech (Arsenal)
Many say, the sign of a goalkeeping great is generally their inconspicuousness. Goalkeepers can’t avoid the fate of grabbing the headlines for their mistakes, and very rarely for their heroic performances. That’s why, ever since Petr Cech chose to join Arsenal after leaving Chelsea, the fans, and even the critics, no longer discuss any goalkeeping problem at the Emirates.
In Cech, you are armoured with the most experienced and safest pair of hands in the Premier League at present. We may not see him making the headlines with some awe-inspiring types of saves David De Gea or Lloris produce, but he is arguably making fewer mistakes than any other goalkeeper in the top flight of English football.
More interestingly, he is a proven winner, a fearless champion, and has enjoyed a calm influence on an erratic Gunners defence since the very first day he arrived. It is still a mystery to some why Arsene Wenger decided to rotate him for David Ospina in the Champions League – a decision that may have been made to keep Cech fit throughout the season.
1. David De Gea (Manchester United)
Manchester United’s poor form after Sir Alex Ferguson left could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for their Spanish goalkeeper. It is not at all a fluke that he has grabbed the Player of the Year Award at Old Trafford for the past three seasons.
De Gea made the switch to Old Trafford in the summer of 2011, for a British record fee for a goalkeeper of around £17 million. He was brought in to replace Van der Sar, but the start of his United career was worrying, as he looked too lightweight for the Premier League.
It looks like a distant past since his first few games at Manchester United, when he seemed somewhat petrified under the high ball, and really struggled to adjust to the league’s physical nature.
He has now emerged as one of the world’s best shot-stoppers, and make no mistake, few goalkeepers have ever been better at saving the ball with their feet. He also excels with the ball, and is an astute reader of the game.
The goalkeeping purists may still continue to argue that he unnecessarily punches the ball too often, but it is really hard not to see him as the best in the league.
The Young Hopefuls
There has been a lot of talk going around regarding the performances of Jordan Pickford for a struggling Sunderland. He has produced some wonderful saves, but Kasper Schmeichel, the heir to Peter, definitely deserves more plaudits for the role he orchestrated in Leicester City’s title win, and for the quality goalkeeper he is becoming day by day.