With time ticking down until the new season, 101 takes a look at the top ten goalkeepers you should keep an eye on this campaign.
Alisson – Liverpool – Brazil
It was an exceptionally emotional year for Liverpool’s number 1 goalkeeper Alisson. After the tragic passing of his father, Alisson had the tough task of getting refocused and helping the Reds fight for a top 4 spot after their league-winning achievements of the year prior.
The former Roma man would be much more instrumental than anyone would have believed. With the scores tied and into the dying seconds against West Brom, the Brazilian came up for a corner and a perfect delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold met the head of Alisson. He finished it with the composure and power of some of the best aerial threats in the game. A hero and as he looked to the sky in celebration, humbled knowing he had made his late father even prouder.
Alisson’s season prior to the wonderous goal was mixed. Confusion with loan signing Ozan Kabak led to a disaster against Leicester City which, were it not for the Foxes’ end-of-season plight, could have seen them miss out on UCL football.
Nonetheless, Alisson kept 10 clean sheets and conceded 32 goals in 33 Premier League games. Jurgen Klopp will again be relying on Alisson to step up this year and be the difference-maker for his side yet again.
Ederson – Manchester City – Brazil
For all of Manchester City’s attacking might, it had been their defence that was always being questioned, but the 2020/21 season showed a changed side. Pep Guardiola had finally managed to secure his side’s back-line and Ederson benefitted from it greatly.
No one in the league kept more clean sheets than the Brazilian goalkeeper with 19 in total from 36 games. City finally having a competitive number two in Zack Steffen has put extra pressure on Ederson to not get too comfortable. Steffen now has a League Cup medal to his name and impressed in the few opportunities given to him.
Ederson though, still only 27, will not be giving up his place without a fight and he still remains far and away one of the top 3 keepers in the league and one of the best on the planet. His distribution is arguably better than anyone’s, with the ability to find long passes and even record assists with his vision.
Should City want to take the extra step and win the European title then Ederson’s form and fitness will certainly be central to it.
Kasper Schmeichel – Leicester City – Denmark
Helping his national side reach the semi-finals of the European Championships will go down for Kasper Schmeichel as an achievement competing for his best alongside the wonderous 2016 Leicester City title win. Had they have gone all the way and won it, maybe it could have equalled, if not eclipsed it.
The 34-year-old stopper continues to be one of the Premier League’s most respected and best. His leadership on and off the pitch is exemplary and it mirrors the quality he possesses.
10 clean sheets looked to be a good total with 9 games to go in the league, however, Leicester’s old woes of securing a Champions League place in the run-in came back to haunt them. Defensively the Foxes failed to remain sturdy and Brendan Rodgers’ side would keep just 1 more clean sheet in the remaining 9 matches.
With further smart recruitment from Leicester this year, they and Schmeichel will be looking to go again in both the Premier League and Europa League.
Bernd Leno – Arsenal – Germany
To one of the goalkeepers on this list whose position in their team is not entirely certain. Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation is a difficult one having yet to make a decision on the number two role after Mat Ryan’s loan expiration. Bernd Leno’s capacity to be the number one of the side has been questioned by supporters after big mistakes.
Firstly, an awful red card against Wolves which saw him handle the ball purposely outside the box, while the failure to not only stop Richarlison’s cross at home to Everton, but turn it into his own net, created head in hands moments all round.
Yet Leno still remains one of the league’s best shot-stoppers across an entire campaign. 11 clean sheets and part of the league’s 3rd best defence, his saves during the season were pivotal at times.
Links to the likes of Andre Onana, Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone still remain, however Leno will return from his extended holiday expecting to pull on the number one’s gloves once again. Mikel Arteta though will want the German to improve on his distribution as he looks to continually build from the back.
Emiliano Martinez – Aston Villa – Argentina
The man that Arsenal felt wasn’t good enough to take the number one jersey after some commanding displays and an FA Cup title was sold to Aston Villa. A decision the majority of Arsenal supporters would likely admit was a mistake.
The now Copa America winner with Argentina gave Ederson a run for the golden glove and some even argued he was in fact the league’s best keeper in 2020/21.
This season will be another chance to push for a European place for Aston Villa after further investment in the team in the form of Emi Buendia. Martinez managed to keep 15 clean sheets last season, however just 1 came in the last 12 games as Villa’s form plummeted and their hopes of a top half finish faded.
After one full year, Martinez has the opportunity to put it beyond all doubt that he is one of the league’s best.
Nick Pope – Burnley – England
Gutted to have been injured in the lead up to the European Championships, Nick Pope was unable to partake in the tournament.
The Burnley goalkeeper has been a commanding figure both with his physicality and leadership in the Clarets backline. 11 clean sheets were able to help Burnley comfortably avoid relegation.
Suggestions that Spurs have been interested in taking Pope from Turf Moor have quietened and he looks likely to begin the campaign yet again under Sean Dyche. Going into his 30th year, he will hope to propel Burnley further up the table with new ownership, investment and impetus in the squad.
Dean Henderson – Manchester United – England
The unquestionable Manchester United number one having ousted David De Gea from the position. Despite just playing only 13 games he managed to keep 5 clean sheets in the Premier League. 13 in total from 26 appearances in all competitions.
Having been impressive on loan with Sheffield United the previous season, Henderson knew the challenge ahead of him dislodging De Gea wouldn’t be easy. Yet, a combination of luck, strong performances and struggles for the Spaniard left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with little choice.
With De Gea possibly heading out of the door and Tom Heaton already acquired as a good back-up, Henderson is set for his first full season as United’s number one and with an improving defence in front of him could be in line to help with a title challenge.
Edouard Mendy – Chelsea – Senegal
Having come into Chelsea despite the club spending a record figure on Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy justified the further investment in the position. A shaky start was followed by one of the best goalkeeping runs of the league.
The Senegalese keeper joined from Rennes with a solid reputation in Ligue 1 but he excelled with shot stopping and his distribution was noticeably improved over Kepa.
16 clean sheets in 31 Premier League games was the highest total in the division bar Ederson – with just 25 goals conceded in that time also. In the 45 games he would play across all competitions he would keep a staggering 25 clean sheets in total.
A Champions League winner, Mendy will hope to help Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel on their way to a Premier League title challenge this season.
Jordan Pickford – Everton – England
England’s number one was faced with persistent questions as to whether either one of Nick Pope or Dean Henderson should replace the Everton man between the sticks for Gareth Southgate. Pickford though didn’t need to worry by the tournament’s start because both the aforementioned pair suffered competition-ending injuries.
Pickford was still a vital part of the England team’s run to reach the Euro 2020 final, but he couldn’t make the ultimate difference in the penalty shootout despite making two saves – one from the typically unstoppable Jorginho.
For Everton, he conceded a worrying 39 goals and kept 10 clean sheets. Surprisingly high considering the amount of goals conceded overall. It appears once the walls were breached with the Toffees in the last campaign, it was difficult to stop it. Something he will need to be part of securing for next season.
Hugo Lloris – Tottenham – France
The 34-year-old goalkeeper has been such a stalwart throughout a tumultuous period for Spurs. From reaching the Champions League final to a struggling finish to qualify for the Conference League, Hugo Lloris has been there for it all.
There have been suggestions that Tottenham would look to replace the Frenchman who has suffered with a number of injury problems throughout his time in north London. Combined with his age, it seems to be a matter of if not when he leaves the club with just 1 year on his current deal.
Should Spurs choose to eek just one more season from him though he remains one of the league’s top stoppers. 12 clean sheets last season under two different coaches and all 38 games played without a hint of injury in the league.
Losing Harry Kane, which is a real possibility, and Lloris in the same summer could be too big of a hit to the dressing room. One deal could affect the other, but only time will tell.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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|4||West Ham United||9||6||17|
|5||Brighton & Hove Albion||9||0||15|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||4|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Hwang, Hee-chan||Wolverhampton Wanderers||4|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||4|
|Greenwood, Mason||Manchester United||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||3|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||3|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||5|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||2|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||3|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||3|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||3|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||3|
|Moreno, Rodrigo||Leeds United||0||3|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Saiss, Romain||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||5|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||2|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||2|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
|Grealish, Jack||Manchester City||2|