Ranking Manchester United's 22 goalkeepers in the Premier League era from worst to best

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It’s a fact that you need a quality goalkeeper if you want to win the Premier League.

Just look down the years and there hasn’t been a bad goalkeeper that has lifted the Premier League trophy.

Peter Schmeichel, Petr Cech, David Seaman and Ederson all played major roles in helping their respective sides win the title on numerous occasions.

And just take Manchester United for example.

The Red Devils have won the Premier League on 13 occasions and have had top quality goalkeepers to call upon each and every time.

However, the club have also had some pretty dodgy shot-stoppers appearing between the sticks for them in the Premier League era - usually in campaigns in which they haven't won the league.

Therefore, with help from Planet Football, we’ve ranked the 22 goalkeepers that have appeared for United since the inaugural Premier League campaign.

Some have been class. Some have been…well, we’ll let you be the judge of that.

22. Massimo Taibi 

Who can forget Taibi’s howler to allow Matt Le Tissier’s shot to hilariously roll through his legs?

A few weeks later, in his fourth and final league appearance for the club, he conceded five against Chelsea.

He was never seen again.

21. Nick Culkin

Not quite so infamous as Taibi but his United career was equally as bad. Culkin is actually a history-maker for holding the record for the shortest debut in Premier League history. He replaced Raymond Van der Gouw in stoppage time against Arsenal in 1999 and it was his only league appearance to date.

He actually joined non-league FC United Of Manchester in 2014.

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20. Paul Rachubka

Like Culkin, Rachubka only made one league appearance - against Leicester when Fabien Barthez was injured in the warm-up.

Went on to play for a whole host of Football League clubs including Huddersfield, Blackpool, Leeds and Oldham.

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19. Victor Valdes

It’s easy to forget that the Barcelona legend actually played for United even though it happened so recently. We say ‘played’ very loosely, though, as Valdes only made two league appearances.

He was last seen being relegated from the Premier League with Middlesbrough.

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18. Joel Pereira

Still contracted by United but it doesn’t look as though the 23-year-old will ever add to his one Premier League appearance - especially as Lee Grant is currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

He’s currently on his fifth loan spell away from the club with Hearts in Scotland.

Manchester United v Burton Albion - Carabao Cup Third Round

17. Ben Amos 

Another one appearance wonder in the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson did use Amos for cup competitions at times, though.

The 29-year-old is currently the back-up goalkeeper at Charlton after a spell at Bolton.

Aldershot Town v Manchester United - Carling Cup Fourth Round

16. Ricardo 

One Premier League appearance, one penalty given away, one penalty save. That occurred after he came off the bench to replace Barthez against Blackburn in 2003.

The Spaniard did play in four Champions League games.

Ricardo of Manchester United

15. Kevin Pilkington 

Pilkington was third-choice behind a certain Schmeichel - more on him later.

But he did make six Premier League appearances between 1992 and 1998.

He eventually left the Theatre of Dreams to play for the likes of Mansfield, Notts County and Luton.

He’s now the goalkeeping coach at Barnsley.

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14. Andy Goram 

United signed the then 36-year-old when Barthez and Van der Gouw were injured.

He played two games during the club’s 2000/01 title run-up and didn’t let Ferguson down.

Raimond van der Gouw replaces Andy Goram

13. Gary Walsh

Walsh made many of his 50 league appearances for the club before the Premier League era.

However, during the 1994/95 season, Schmeichel was ruled out for 10 matches with injury allowing Walsh a chance to play. He conceded just 12 goals during that time but soon lost his place to the Dane upon his return.

He went on to play for Middlesborough and Bradford after leaving the club.


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12. Anders Lindegaard

United signed Lindegaard for £3.5 million in 2010 and there was hope he would one day replace the ageing Edwin van der Sar.

It didn’t quite work out for the Dane, though, as he left after playing 19 Premier League games.

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11. Sergio Romero 

Currently one of the best back-up goalkeepers in the Premier League. He’s played 49 times for the club but only seven times in the league thanks to David de Gea.

Remarkably, the Argentine has kept 30 clean sheets in those 49 games.

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10. Mark Bosnich

Many people will forget that Bosnich actually signed for Manchester United in 1989. He played three games before he returned to Australia and then Aston Villa.

He came back to United in 1999 and played 23 Premier League games as the club strolled to the title.

But then Barthez came in and Bosnich found himself out of favour.

Ferguson later called him “a terrible professional” in his 2013 autobiography.

Mark Bosnich

9. Tomasz Kuszczak

Kuszczak was a decent back-up for Van der Sar for six years, making 61 appearances for the club - 32 in the Premier League.

Could never quite establish himself as a first-team regular, though.

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8. Ben Foster

Another solid ‘keeper that just couldn’t make it as a No.1 at United.

Foster made 12 appearances in the Premier League and helped the club win the 2009 League Cup.

Still a Premier League goalkeeper with Watford.

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7. Roy Carroll

Will always be remembered for that comedy mistake against Tottenham at Old Trafford, allowing Pedro Mendes’ halfway line strike to cross the line - somehow getting away with it.

Remarkably, the Northern Irishman played 72 times for the club including 26 times in the Premier League during his final campaign.

6. Tim Howard

It looked as though Howard would be the man to finally replace Schmeichel as he played 32 times in his debut season.

However, it coincided with United finishing third in consecutive seasons as the American eventually lost his place to Van der Sar.

He did go on to play more than 400 times for Everton before retiring after a spell at Colorado Rapids.

Tim Howard of Manchester United

5. Raimond van Der Gouw

The Dutchman was a reliable No.2 to Schmeichel for many years before he competed with Bosnich. He eventually played 60 times, helping the club to consecutive league titles during the 1999/00 and 2000/01 seasons.

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4. Fabien Barthez

The loveable Frenchman was a regular for three seasons, helping United win two league titles.

However, he always had a mistake up his short sleeves before he was replaced by Howard.

Fabien Barthez of Manchester United

3. David de Gea

Possibly the best goalkeeper United have ever had but the fact that he’s only won one Premier League trophy in eight seasons means De Gea can’t possibly be ranked higher than third.

The Spaniard had a tough start to life in England and it looked as though he wasn’t cut out for Premier League football.

He turned it around, though, and has won the club’s Player of the Year three times in the last five seasons.

United have had a rough few seasons but can you imagine just how rough it could have been without him?

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2. Edwin van der Sar

United actually signed Van der Sar at the end of his career at the age of 34 for just £2 million. But he was the club’s No.1 for the next six seasons helping himself to four Premier League titles and a Champions League - saving from Nicolas Anelka in the penalty shootout in 2008.

Van der Sar also experienced two Champions League final defeats but served the club brilliantly during his 266 appearances.

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1. Peter Schmeichel

Who else?

Schmeichel is a club legend as he helped end United’s 26-year wait without a league title in the inaugural Premier League season.

During his 398 matches for the club, he won five league titles, three FA Cups and, in his final game for the club, the 1999 Champions League final.

Who can forget that red nose, his constant screaming at the defenders in front of him and that cartwheel at the Camp Nou?

Peter Schmeichel

So, there you have it - Manchester United's 22 goalkeepers from the Premier League era.

It's actually remarkable the amount of poor 'keepers the Red Devils have had down the years.

But they've also had some of the best in De Gea, Van der Sar and Schmeichel.

They've also been able to rely on some brilliant back-ups that have served the club well when called upon.

But for every Schmeichel, there's been a Taibi.

United fans should be thankful they currently have two fantastic goalkeepers in De Gea and Romero.

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