Peter Schmeichel, David Seaman, Edwin Van der Sar. The Premier League has a great history of top goalkeepers over the last 20 years, with some of the world’s best gracing the English top flight.
Jack Butland could be the next young pretender to get his chance at the highest level, with Birmingham’s rising star earning rave reviews as part of Team GB’s squad at the Olympics.
If he does make the step-up from St Andrew’s, the 19-year-old won’t be alone in the Premier League, joining a crop of top young goalkeepers under the age of 25. GiveMeFootball picks out the top five who could get even better over time…
David De Gea – Manchester United (07/11/90)
The rising Spanish star moved to England from Atletico Madrid last summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson picking De Gea as the boy to replace the retiring Edwin Van der Sar at Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old was heavily criticised at the start of his time with United, and even lost his place to Anders Lindegaard as Ferguson ‘rotated’ the No.1 spot.
However, his form dramatically improved as time went on, and De Gea proved himself to be one of the game’s very best young keepers with an amazing save to deny Juan Mata in a 3-3 draw at Chelsea.
Wojciech Szczesny – Arsenal (18/04/90)
After moving to Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in 2006, expectations were high for Szczesny after he impressed on loan at Brentford.
Sure enough, the Polish international delivered on the expectation, taking the place of Manuel Almunia at the Emirates Stadium and ending speculation that Arsene Wenger needs to sign a new stopper.
Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea (11/05/92)
Whilst Premier League fans are yet to see Courtois in action in England, the 20-year-old has shown his huge potential with a fantastic season on loan at Atletico Madrid (where he replaced De Gea).
Signed from Racing Genk for an undisclosed fee, the two-cap Belgium international appears to be the natural replacement for Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge, and is sure to be challenging for the No.1 spot in west London soon.
Tim Krul – Newcastle United (03/04/88)
Krul has been at St. James’ Park since 2006, and seen the likes of Shay Given and Steve Harper get their chances before him.
However, the 24-year-old began to impress in the Football League following relegations with the Toon, and has gone on to make the No.1 jersey his own on Tyneside.
Impressive Premier League displays have also led to international call-ups with the Netherlands, and Krul is now regarded as one of Europe’s best shot-stoppers.
Simon Mignolet – Sunderland (06/08/88)
Signed from Sint-Truiden in 2010, Mignolet was an absolute snip at £2 million, and has since made 52 Premier League appearances for the Black Cats.
He also won the individual battles with Craig Gordon and then Kieran Westwood for the No.1 spot at the Stadium Of Light, with reaction saves and commanding aerial composure two major assets of the 23-year-old.
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