It’s not just the Premier League’s Golden Boot award which is up for grabs over the new few weeks.
The league’s goalkeepers are currently competing to seal the coveted Golden Glove accolade.
This individual award is handed out to the ‘keeper who finishes the season with the most clean sheets - and there’s a rather surprising name leading the race this term.
Burnley currently sit ninth in the table but their first-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope has kept an impressive 14 clean sheets since August.
That’s one more than Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City’s Ederson.
Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson (12 clean sheets), Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel (12) and Wolves’ Rui Patricio (11) are also among the contenders to win the award.
If Pope does land his hands on the Golden Glove accolade, he will become the ninth different ‘keeper to win it since its inception in 2004.
With this in mind, we thought we’d rank the previous Golden Glove winners in order.
8. Wojciech Szczesny (2013-14)
Wojciech Szczesny was a good goalkeeper but, let’s be honest now, not a great one.
The former Arsenal shot-stopper surprisingly kept 16 clean sheets for Arsenal during the 2013-14 season, which left him tied with Petr Cech.
Szczesny has become a more consistent ‘keeper since leaving the Emirates for Juventus in 2017, but we can’t put him above any of the other players on this list.
7. Pepe Reina (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08)
Winning the Golden Glove award in one season is impressive, but to win it three seasons in a row is a magnificent achievement.
Pepe Reina did just that with Liverpool, keeping 57 clean sheets over the course of those three campaigns.
The Spaniard was a fine goalkeeper but prone to making the odd mistake.
6. Thibaut Courtois (2016-17)
Thibaut Courtois looked like a genuine world-beater during his loan spell at Atletico, so it was no surprise when Jose Mourinho made the tough decision to demote Petr Cech in favour of the Belgian at the start of the 2014-15 season.
Courtois was, on the whole, a fine goalkeeper for Chelsea. He won two league titles, plus the FA Cup and the League Cup.
But - and there is a but - it’s hard not to feel that he could, and should, have been even better for the Blues.
He let himself down at times towards the end of his Blues career with some below-par (by his standards, anyway) performances.
5. Joe Hart (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15)
No goalkeeper has won the Golden Glove award more times than Joe Hart, which will probably come as a shock to many people reading this.
Hart’s career has sadly fallen off a cliff in recent seasons, but the Englishman was quality at his peak - let’s not forget that.
In fact, it’s possible that he would still be City’s first-choice ‘keeper now had Pep Guardiola decided to manage elsewhere back in 2016.
Guardiola’s decision to offload him destroyed his confidence.
4. Edwin van der Sar (2008-09)
No offence to Fulham but it’s baffling how Edwin van der Sar spent four years at Craven Cottage.
The Dutchman should have been playing for one of Europe’s top clubs after leaving Juventus in 2001.
But Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to sign Van der Sar for Man Utd in 2005 proved a masterstroke.
The former Netherlands international kept 21 clean sheets during the 2008-09 campaign and played a key role in the Red Devils’ 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 title triumphs.
3. David de Gea (2017-18)
David de Gea has been error-prone over the past 18-24 months. Will we ever see the Spaniard at his world-class best again?
That said, he was an absolute colossus for several seasons, hence why he won United’s Player of the Year award four times.
And for that reason alone, he still makes our top three.
2. Alisson (2018-19)
Alisson proved to be the missing piece in the jigsaw for Liverpool.
The Brazilian has made a massive impact at Anfield since his arrival from AS Roma in 2018 and has the potential to cement his status as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeepers.
Alisson kept 21 clean sheets last season and is in contention to finish the current campaign with a second successive Golden Glove award.
1. Petr Cech (2004-05, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2015-16)
One of only two goalkeepers to win the Golden Glove four times (along with the aforementioned Hart), Cech is unquestionably one of the greatest - if not *the* greatest - goalkeepers we’ve ever seen in English football’s top flight.
In the 2004-05 season, Cech kept a remarkable 24 clean sheets - a tally no other ‘keeper has come close to matching.
We didn’t see the best version of Cech during his four-year stint at Arsenal, but his glittering 11-year spell with Chelsea is why he’ll forever be remembered as a true goalkeeping great.
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