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Who has the most clean sheets in Premier League history?

There have been some elite shot-stoppers in the competition’s history

A good goalkeeper wins teams titles, and few sides win titles without one. While goalscorers are revered, top shot-stoppers are rarely recognised, with the golden glove trophy having only been established in the early 2000s and far more understated than the golden boot.

But across the Premier League period, there have been some exceptional shot-stoppers, and some that have stuck it out through sheer longevity. 101 took a look at the top ten shot-stoppers.

10. Edwin Van der Sar (Manchester United & Fulham) – 138

Perhaps the best goalkeeper that the Red Devils have ever had, Van Der Sar managed 138 Premier League clean sheets in 313 Premier League outings, of which 94 were achieved at Old Trafford.

The shot-stopper helped his side win four Premier League titles, as well as a Champions League trophy and two League cup trophies, before moving onto Fulham and managing a further 127 appearances in west London.

9. Tim Howard (Everton & Manchester United) – 132

Though he did rack up over 70 Premier League appearances for Manchester United, it was for his time on Merseyside with Everton that Tim Howard was really known for.

The USMNT shot-stopper recorded an astonishing 354 appearances for the Toffees, during which time he managed 117 clean sheets, and was instrumental in their success under David Moyes.

8. Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham and Aston Villa) – 132

Another USMNT goalkeeper who managed to grab 132 clean sheets across his Premier League career, Freidel spent his best years with Lancashire outfit Blackburn Rovers, producing excellent saves on a weekly basis.

Also racking up 82 national team caps, Friedel went 8 consecutive seasons without missing a game before eventually hanging up his gloves in 2015, ending his 18 year stint with the Premier League.

7. Pepe Reina (Liverpool & Aston Villa) – 136

Though forever renowned for *that* beach ball moment against Sunderland, Pepe Reina was consistently one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, winning the golden glove for the most clean sheets in the division on three occasions during his time on Merseyside.

The Spaniard racked up 134 clean sheets across 285 appearances for the Reds, almost a 50% success rate, before returning to the Premier League six years later for a short stint with Aston Villa, in which he managed a further two.

Still going strong with Villarreal, Reina is remembered fondly at Anfield.

6. Nigel Marytn (Leeds United, Everton & Crystal Palace) – 137

A rare player that is a cult hero for two different clubs, Nigel Martyn had excellent spells in both London and Leeds and was only denied an opportunity to shine for England thanks to the presence of David Seaman.

Martyn began his career with Crystal Palace in the old first division, before spending two Premier League campaigns with the Eagles, keeping 25 clean sheets in the process.

It was at Elland Road with Leeds that he really earned his Premier League stripes, however, racking up 207 top-flight outings for the Yorkshire side and keeping 84 clean sheers in the process, firmly establishing himself as a cult hero.

Ending his career at Everton, Martyn finished with 137 clean sheets across a 14 year spell in the top flight.

5. David de Gea (Manchester United) – 138

The only player on this list still active, De Gea could well be moving up this list before the end of the campaign, with the Spaniard not too far away from those above him.

Winner of the golden glove in 2018, De Gea gets plenty of criticism for his footwork, but his shot-stopping ability cannot be denied. 139 clean sheets in 399 Premier League appearances attest to that.

4. David Seaman (Arsenal) – 141

England and Arsenal no.1 David Seaman is next up, with the shot-stopper renowned for a terrible ponytail, some extra-colourful goalkeeper shirts and of course, his wonder save against Sheffield United.

“Safe hands” won two Premier League titles and four FA Cups during his time in north London, keeping 144 clean sheets in almost 400 appearances in the process.

3. Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough, Fulham, Leicester City & Chelsea) – 151

Just ahead of Seaman is long-time Fulham and Middlesbrough shot-stopper Mark Schwarzer, who is the first man on this list to reach the 150 clean sheets landmark.

The Australian goalkeeper also has a Premier League medal from his time at Leicester City, despite not featuring in the top flight that season, and was also briefly on the books at Chelsea before hanging up his gloves.

It is for his time at Craven Cottage and on Teeisde, however, that he is most fondly remembered, with the goalkeeper managing 150 clean sheets across just over 500 games between the two clubs.

2. David James (Manchester City, West Ham and Portsmouth) – 169

Like Seaman, James is remembered mostly for dodgy haircuts and some dodgy goalkeeping, but he was a mainstay of the England side and also the Premier League throughout the 2000s.

Once bought on up front, it was in keeping strikers out that he excelled, racking up 169 clean sheets across spells with Portsmouth, West Ham, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Watford and Aston Villa.

1. Petr Cech (Chelsea) -202

Miles clear at the top, Petr Cech is one of just two goalkeepers in the competition’s history to have lifted the golden glove on four occasions, and was part of a defence that conceded just 15 goals in a season on the way to lifting the Premier League.

A Chelsea legend, the Czech Republic goalkeeper moved across London and racked up a further 100 appearances, with 41 clean sheets to show for it, taking his total north of 200.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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