Football

David de Gea..

A Premier League goalkeeper is statistically the best in Europe this season

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Naming the best goalkeeper in world football isn't exactly an easy task.

Manuel Neuer would get a lot of people's nod with the German proving one of the most reliable 'keepers in the game with Bayern Munich. He has revolutionised the 'sweeper keeper' method and even came third in the 2014 Ballon dOr.

Then - of course - there's David de Gea. The Manchester United number is in a league of his own when it comes to shot stopping and accumulated three consecutive Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards at Old Trafford.

You could also construct a pretty convincing argument for Gianluigi Buffon who, last season, helped inspire Juventus to the Champions League final with brilliant stops at the grand old age of 39.

The likes of Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris, Keylor Navas and Marc-Andre ter Stegen would all having something to say on the matter, too.

Ultimately, though, the closest fans can get to a definitive answer lies with statistics.

Furthermore, perhaps the best numerical indicator lies with save percentages and just how many opportunities a 'keeper has denied out of the shots he's faced.

When you assess this season and Europe's top five leagues, it throws up some interesting results.

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-BAYERN MUNICH

A Premier League goalkeeper leads the way and - of all people - it's Burnley's Nick Pope.

Each contender has to have made at least 10 saves to qualify for the list and as a result of Tom Heaton dislocating his shoulder against Crystal Palace, Pope has had no shortage of game time.

The 25-year-old hadn't played a league game since his turned out for League Two Bury in 2015 but Pope has adapted almost instantly to top division football. 

Mohamed Salah remains the only player to beat Pope this season, who has made 17 saves across his six appearances the Clarets - brining his save percentage to a brilliant 94.4%.

Check out the top 10 shot stoppers below:

1. Nick Pope - 94.4%

2. Ciprian Tatarusanu - 91.3%

3. Roman Burki - 90.0%

4. David de Gea - 88.2%

5. Philipp Tschauner - 86.2%

6. Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 85.7%

7. Alisson - 85.2%

8. Ederson - 84.6%

9. Jan Oblak - 83.3%

10. Samir Handanovic - 83.3%

It goes without saying that Pope has put himself among esteemed company with the likes of De Gea and Ter Stegen producing stats to vindicate their reputations.

Everton v Burnley - Premier League

Of course, it all depends on the very nature of the strikes and other mitigating circumstances but Pope won't be complaining, that's for sure.

Who do you think is the best goalkeeper in world football? Have your say in the comments section below.

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