The Premier League has attracted some of the greatest goalkeepers of the modern era since 1992.
Some fans would argue that the world’s best shot-stoppers haven’t truly tested themselves until they’ve cut their teeth on the physical style of England’s top division.
Just look at David de Gea. The Spaniard was full of mistakes when he arrived at Manchester United, but he became a much better ‘keeper for having adapted to the rough-and-tumble action.
And while, yes, there have been a fair share of terrible goalkeepers along the way, we like to think that the Premier League has a uniquely deep reservoir of legends from between the sticks.
Bearing that in mind, while the coronavirus keeps live action from our screens, we decided here at GIVEMESPORT to sift through the competition’s greatest goalkeepers using TierMaker.
Greatest Premier League goalkeepers
The vogue ranking website has allowed us to organise who we deem to be the 20 most significant ‘keepers in Premier League history into tiers ranging from ‘God tier’ to ‘Part of the furniture’.
So, how have we compared Peter Schmeichel to Petr Cech, David de Gea to Edwin van der Sar and Hugo Lloris to David Seaman? Find out all the answers and much more in the full list below:
Part of the furniture
This tier is for ‘keepers who are worthy mentions in the Premier League history books, even if their individual quality and trophy cabinets aren’t deserving of a place amongst the best of the best.
Jaaskelainen spent an astonishing 15 years and 503 games at Bolton Wanderers, pulling off some of the league’s greatest ever saves and finishing 13th on the all-time clean sheet list despite playing exclusively for mid-table sides.
As for James, we simply have to acknowledge the ‘keeper with the second most clean sheets in Premier League history (169) even if, sadly, he’s better remembered for being nicknamed ‘Calamity James’.
Schwarzer was also a stalwart of the English game with more than 500 league games for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City, racking up 151 clean sheets along the way to stand third on the all-time rankings.
For the record, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the players in this tier are of a lesser quality than those in the ‘solid’ category, it’s just that we believe they aren’t being given the credit they deserve.
Of the 15 goalkeepers with more than 100 Premier League clean sheets, Reina has the highest average of them all at 46.05% – exclusively for his time at Liverpool – and it’s a statistic worthy of far more airtime than it receives.
In terms of Hart, people seem to have short memories in English football because his terrible recent form shouldn’t take away from the fact he’s a two-time champion and arguably the world’s best goalkeeper in his prime.
Then there’s the first of two Schmeichel’s on this list, starting with the son, who stood between the sticks in Leicester’s fairytale season and should be mentioned amongst the league’s very best more often.
‘Solid’ feels like the understatement of the century for some top, top ‘keepers, but we’re definitely moving into territory where players aren’t being selected by either obligation or fan reception.
Joint-seventh on the all-time clean sheet list, Howard is more than worthy of his place in this tier and marshalled 116 shutouts at Everton alone, where he became a bona fide legend across 414 appearances.
As for Given, the Newcastle legend was remarkably consistent despite chasing the top four one minute and fighting relegation the next, racking up a hefty 113 clean sheets as one of the division’s most underrated shot-stoppers.
And Martyn – capped 23 times for England – is someone who isn’t credited enough by modern fans despite standing between the sticks for Everton’s highest ever Premier League finish and Leeds’ run to the Champions League semi-finals.
Friedel is also one of the league’s most consistent ever ‘keepers and still holds the record for most consecutive appearances at 310 across spells with Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
David de Gea
De Gea was definitely the closest to reaching ‘legendary’ status, although his dire recent form has dampened things, but he’s arguably the best shot-stopper the competition has ever seen, bagging 106 clean sheets and a Golden Glove.
Meanwhile, Southall had reached his peak long before the Premier League era, but he still remained one of the best in the business post-1992 and played in all but one game of Everton’s 735 minutes without conceding in 1994.
In terms of Courtois, few ‘keepers have made such an impact in just four seasons in England, winning two titles, the Golden Glove and producing THAT triple save against Hull City.
Ederson will similarly go down in the history books as the ‘keeper of the two greatest ever Premier League champions – objectively, at least – and 45 clean sheets from just 99 games is a real statement of intent.
And although Lloris might not match some of the statistics of his contemporaries, there’s no denying that the Ballon d’Or nominee is one of the most talented shot-stoppers to ever grace the league.
Edwin van der Sar
Seaman is ‘legendary’ to say the very least: ‘keeper to Arsenal’s iconic defence of the 1990s, racking up the competition’s third most clean sheets at 140 and justifying his ‘safe hands’ label with two championship medals.
His successor was none other than Lehmann who, by way of being the number one of the ‘Invincibles’, walks into this category as an absolute colossus with legendary saves against United and Liverpool to boot.
Then, of course, there’s Van Der Sar. The Dutchman stood between the sticks as United set the record for the most consecutive clean sheets in 2008-09 and bowed out with four Premier League titles to his name.
Who else other than these two?
Schmeichel is the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeeper on pure ability, producing some of its most spectacular saves against Newcastle and Liverpool, as well as collecting five winners’ medals for his efforts.
Cech is equally worthy of his place in the ascendancy, too, marshalling the league’s tightest ever defence in his debut season – conceding just 13 times – and clocking the clean sheet record with a monstrous 202 shutouts.
Cech and Schmeichel come top
So, there you have it, only two shot-stoppers are worthy of the highest tier of them all.
No matter who you support, it’s useless to deny what Schmeichel achieved at United in the 1990s and Cech is worthy of a place at the top of the pile for his record clean sheet tally if nothing else.
But lest we forget that each and every goalkeeper in this TierMaker is a historic figure in the competition and even a place in the bottom tier is nothing but a compliment.
They have, after all, made it amongst the number one number ones in the number one league.
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