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PREMIER LEAGUE POWER RANKINGS – Top 10 goalkeepers so far during the 2021/22 season

8 mins read

From shot-stoppers to modern sweepers, goalkeepers in the Premier League are showing their class, and given we are at that juncture of the season where judgements can start being made on players’ forms, it is time for a comprehensive list of the top performing goalkeepers this season.

 

With 15 rounds of Premier League action done and dusted, the league table is starting to take shape. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are indicative of how brief runs of form can transform positions in the league standings, while West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion are two clubs people should keep an eye on, with the former already making all sorts of noises in the Premier League.

Moreover, there has been no shortage of talking points and controversies so far this season, and the title fight is expected to last the distance with three clubs battling it out for supremacy, while the same can be said about clubs at the foot of the table.

From shot-stoppers to modern sweepers, goalkeepers in the Premier League are showing their class, and given we are at that juncture of the season where judgements can start being made on players’ forms, it is time for a comprehensive list of the top performing goalkeepers this season.

 

Please Note: Before we dive into the thick of the action, I would like to say that there are a myriad of reasons—many unquantifiable—that go into determining lists like these. Most of these entries might even reflect upon my subjectivity, meaning you might agree with some of my mentions, or none at all. Either way, we’d love to hear from you!

 

Here’s a list of some honourable mentions who, as per my understanding and knowledge, have missed out on the Top 10 list this time around, but do have the ability to make an entry given how they perform from now on until February.

Honourable Mentions: Vicente Guaita (CRY), Ben Foster (WAT), José Sá (WOL), Jordan Pickford (EVE), Kasper Schmeichel (LEI), Alex McCarthy (SOU), Emiliano Martínez (AVL), Nick Pope (BUR), Karl Darlow (NEW), Tim Krul (NOR)

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Top 10 goalkeepers so far during the 2021/22 Premier League season.

 

#10 Illan Meslier | Leeds United

Games – 15 | Saves – 46 (68%) | Clean sheets – 3


Leeds United were shaky at the back before, but they still had structure and purpose about their play. This season, though, they look more vulnerable than ever under Marcelo Bielsa. This season’s Leeds look disjointed and completely different from the one that finished 9th last season.

However, Leeds’ #1 is a rare breed. Illan Meslier is just 21 years old, but the technical and shot-stopping ability he already possesses makes him a one-to-watch for the future.

In a leaking Leeds defence, the Frenchman has already made 46 saves with a success rate of 68%. He only has three clean sheets from his 15 league appearances, but that is largely down to how bad Leeds have been defensively.

Moreover, as stated above, the 21-year-old has some impressive technical ability with the ball at his feet. He averages 23.7 accurate passes per game, 8 of which are either long/chipped balls, and has a success rate of 73%. Barring two-three moments here and there, Meslier hasn’t put a foot wrong this season. Hence, he duly deserves a place on this list ahead of some of the other keepers.

RATING: 7/10

 

#9 David de Gea | Manchester United

Games – 15 | Saves – 48 (67%) | Clean Sheets – 3


With the emergence of Dean Henderson at Manchester United and his own long-term slump in form, there were always doubts whether David de Gea would be the number one this season. So far, though, he has been United’s #1.

Despite conceding 1.6 goals per game, the 31-year-old has pulled off fine performances throughout the season, apart from his nightmare showing against Liverpool.

David de Gea has pulled off 48 saves at a success rate of 67% thanks to Manchester United’s struggles at the back. His double-save against Wolves, Mark Noble’s penalty save and heroics during the second half against Manchester City are some of the highlights so far.

Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the situation around that #1 role evolves now that Ole Gunnar Solsjkær is gone and the Professor of Gegenpressing and build-up-from-the-back, Ralf Rangnick, has taken the reins at Old Trafford.

RATING: 7/10

 

#8 Hugo Lloris | Tottenham Hotspur

Games – 14 | Saves – 40 (70%) | Clean Sheets – 6


The Tottenham Hotspur skipper has been solid at the back, but there’s a limit beyond which a goalkeeper cannot bail out their team. That’s what has happened with Hugo Lloris as well.

The World Cup-winning captain produced 21 saves from the 55 shots Spurs faced in their first three league games; they won all of them.

Since then, however, things have only gotten worse for Tottenham and Lloris, to the point that Nuno Espírito Santo has already been sacked after the 3-0 humiliating defeat to Manchester United.

Now that Tottenham have Antonio Conte at the helm, though, things have improved at least defensively before the January transfer window rolls around. Spurs have won three on the bounce, and Lloris has added two more clean sheets to his existing four to make it six clean sheets for the season.

RATING: 7/10

#7 Robert Sánchez | Brighton & Hove Albion

Games – 14 | Saves – 36 (72%) | Clean Sheets – 5


Another technically sound goalkeeper, Robert Sánchez has been impressive so far this season. Brighton & Hove Albion, as a whole, have been structured and solid at the back. The three-at-the-back system has worked wonders for Graham Potter, while a technically sound sweeper at the back helps carry out transitions at a quicker pace.

So far, the Spaniard has made 36 saves at a success rate of 72%, while parrying 8 saves and claiming 2. Brighton have given away two penalties so far this season, neither of which Sánchez was able to save, but the 24-year-old does have great reflexes and has pulled a couple of blinders already, helping the Seagulls keep 5 clean sheets and conceding just 14 goals in as many games.

In terms of technical ability, averaging 53.6 touches per game, Sánchez is completing 29.8 passes on average (71%), with 10.2 long/chipped passes, which is quite impressive. He has also created two big chances with his long and accurate balls, feeding the runners in behind the opposition backline.

That said, Sánchez is rash in close combat, as evident with his latest red card against Newcastle United. It wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last.

RATING: 7.5/10

#6 Ederson Moraes | Manchester City

Games – 14 | Saves – 20(69%) | Clean Sheets – 7


Despite keeping 7 clean sheets so far, Manchester City’s Ederson has been quite underwhelming this season, at least for me. The Brazilian has conceded just 9 goals in 14 games, but he hasn’t been tested enough either.

Whenever actually needed, Ederson has conceded goals in clutch moments. Moreover, an element of error has slowly crept into his game. There will always be that random moment of madness in his game, and in the past year or so his tendency for it has grown even more.

However, in terms of distribution, Ederson is still one of the best, if not the best. The Brazilian averages 33 touches per game, 22 accurate passes (88%), with 6 long/chipped balls per game.

RATING: 7.5/10

 

 

#5 David Raya | Brentford

Games – 9 | Saves – 22 (71%) | Clean Sheets – 3


The Brentford goalkeeper had had a great start to his Premier League campaign, conceding just 9 goals in 9 games and keeping three clean sheets. However, his knee injury is expected to rule him out for more than five months, meaning Brentford have to make do with their #2 at least till March unless they dip their toes in the January transfer market.

David Raya, in short, is a competent shot-stopper and an excellent distributor of the ball. The 24-year-old has pulled off 22 saves at a success rate of 71%, while carrying out 1.3 successful runs out per game with a 100% success rate.

In terms of distribution, Raya has all sorts of passes under his wing. He averages 52 touches per game, with 27 accurate passes (64%), but 16 of those are successful long/chipped balls per game.

It’s a shame Raya has been hit with a long-term injury, robbing us of some scintillating displays between the sticks.

RATING: 8/10

 

 

#4 Łukasz Fabiański | West Ham United

Games – 15 | Saves – 47 (71%) | Clean Sheets – 3


West Ham United are flying at the moment. They have beaten Liverpool before the international break and sit just three points behind league leaders Chelsea. Moreover, Łukasz Fabiański has been one of the integral parts in the Hammers’ surge towards the top.

The Poland international has made 47 saves at a success rate of 71% while keeping 3 clean sheets in the process. Unlike some of the keepers on this list, Fabiański is purely a shot-stopper. Additionally, despite a leaky backline, the Hammers have conceded just 19 goals in 15 games and much of that is down to Fabiański’s brilliance between the sticks.

With the level of opposition they are about to face over the Christmas period, the 36-year-old will have to be at his searing best to give the Hammers a fighting chance for Top 4 at the end of this run.

RATING: 8/10

 

 

#3 Alisson Becker | Liverpool

Games – 14 | Saves – 31 (72%) | Clean Sheets – 8


The Liverpool #1 had a brilliant start to the 2021/22 season, but after a
blip in his performances for a couple of weeks — reminiscent of last season’s poor run of form — Alisson has hit top form as the clubs enter the busy Christmas period. The Brazil international has pulled off 31 saves so far with a success rate of 72% — not quite elite for someone of his calibre. While some of the conceded goals were absolute bangers, there were also some he could have—or should have—saved in the first place.

Alisson’s performances against Leeds United and Burnley early on in the season, including some of the top-class saves he pulled off against Manchester United, are indicative of how good he can be, but somehow and somewhere, a bit of inconsistency has crept into his game; maybe the lack of competition from the second keeper, or just something else.

In terms of distribution, however, Alisson is still elite — 43.9 touches per game, 29 accurate passes on average (88%) and a passing accuracy rate of 96% during build-up play. The most impressive fact among all those numbers is that he loses possession just 4.1 times on average, which is exemplary for a modern goalkeeper.

RATING: 8.5/10

 

 

#2 Aaron Ramsdale | Arsenal

Games – 12 | Saves – 45 (78%) | Clean Sheets – 6


Let’s talk about the man of the hour. Everything Aaron Ramsdale has touched has turned to gold.

I’ll hold my hands up first — I backed Ramsdale to shine when Arsenal signed him based on whatever little technical ability I saw from him during his days with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, but never in my wildest of dreams had I imagined that he would end up having such a massive impact on this Arsenal side.

You can’t put your finger on just one thing and say, “he has improved Arsenal this way.” Ramsdale is an excellent shot-stopper, something we knew from his days with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, but his leadership, his commanding of his area and communication with his backline have massively helped Arsenal.

Ramsdale has the second-best saves percentage in the Premier League with 45 saves at 78% and has already pulled off some world-class saves against the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City. He completes just 18 passes per game with a success rate of 72%, but more than half of his balls are long/chipped passes breaking the lines.

Moreover, the 24-year-old has conceded 13 goals in his 12 appearances this season, 9 of which came in Arsenal’s last 4 fixtures. Thus, with 3 defeats in their last 4 fixtures and games against Southampton, West Ham and Leeds United coming up, Arsenal and Ramsdale have a crucial two-week phase to negotiate that could either make or break their entire campaign.

RATING: 9/10

 

 

#1 Edouard Mendy | Chelsea


Games – 14 | Saves – 39 (81%) | Clean Sheets – 7

Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy has arguably been the best goalkeeper in Europe for the last 12 months. Although the Senegalese has had very little to do, whenever called up, he has produced the goods.

Mendy was outstanding against Liverpool earlier on this season, when Chelsea played an entire half with a man down but still managed to come away with a point.

He had similar performances against the likes of Aston Villa and Brentford, where he single-handedly made sure Chelsea came out of those fixtures with a respectable scoreline. He has the best save percentage in Europe, and with a relatively easier run of fixtures coming over the Christmas period, Mendy has an excellent opportunity to add to his clean sheets tally.

In terms of distribution, Mendy ranks among the very best. The 29-year-old averages 34.6 touches per game, with more of a sweeper positioning rather than a conventional one, while he completes 20.4 passes per game with an accuracy rate of 81%.

RATING: 9.5/10

 

 

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