West Ham United v Chelsea – Premier League
An exciting climax to the Premier League is upon us, with clubs jostling for positions from top to bottom. We are now at the business end of the campaign and it is time to analyze and predict which players will be part of the ‘Team of the Season’. We begin our analysis at the very top of the football pitch. Who is in the conversation for goalkeeper of the season?
Special mentions for Premier League goalkeepers David Raya and Robert Sanchez
It is worth mentioning the names of the two Spanish shot-stoppers in the mix for the best goalkeepers this season. Brentford have surpassed all expectations this season, but their form dropped once David Raya was injured. His return has helped solidify the Bee’s position in the Premier League for next season.
Robert Sanchez has been solid this season. His surprise inclusion in Spain’s Euro 2020 squad last summer has furthered the Brighton stoppers’ confidence. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if one of the bigger teams in England or even Europe comes calling at Graham Potter’s door looking for the 6’6 goalkeeper’s signature.
Below are our top five goalkeeping contenders who could make the ‘Team of the Season’
#5 Jose Sa
Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League Leicester City v Arsenal – Premier League
When Wolverhampton Wanderers lost their manager Nuno Espirito Santo and number one goalkeeper Rui Patricio, many thought the Midlands club would not survive the Premier League for another season. New manager Bruno Lage brought in another Portuguese goalkeeper to replace the outgoing Portugal number one, Jose Sa.
The 28-year old came in from Olympiacos without much fanfare, but he has undoubtedly been an improvement on his predecessor. He has kept 11 clean sheets in 32 games so far and has made the fourth-most (106) saves in the division.
Wolverhampton may primarily be a defensively set-up team, but with a goalkeeper performing just as well as Jose Sa, it’s hard to argue with the new manager’s logic. His actions between the sticks have helped Wolves maintain their fourth-best defense in the league (28 goals) so far behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
#4 Aaron Ramsdale
Leicester City v Arsenal – Premier League
Aaron Ramsdale joined Arsenal for £25million and has been sensational between the sticks for the Gunners this season. Many, if not everyone, scoffed at the price tag, considering he had moved from Sheffield United, who had just been relegated to the Championship.
But once the Englishman took over the gloves from Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal, he started to justify Mikel Arteta’s decision to make a move for him. In what has been an up-and-down season for the Gunners, Ramsdale has made crucial saves to keep the Gunners alive in games. He has become an important member of what is a relatively young and inexperienced squad.
The 23-year-old has kept an impressive 12 clean sheets in 28 Premier League games this season. Ramsdale continues to improve and despite a current decline in results, will be key to Arsenal finishing in the top four this season. The next stop will be wrestling the jersey from Everton’s Jordan Pickford on a permanent basis and being the Three Lions’ number one at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this year.
#3 Edouard Mendy
Chelsea v Palmeiras: Final – FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021
Edouard Mendy has been key to the Blues’ recent resurgence in the last couple of seasons. The Senegalese joined from Rennes in 2020 and has been somewhat of a revelation in the Premier League. Across two seasons (2020-21, 2021-22), he has kept an impressive 28 clean sheets in 58 games, conceding 46 goals. Notably, he kept nine clean sheets in 12 Champions League games last season to help Chelsea lift the coveted trophy.
Mendy won the FIFA Club World Cup with the Blues as well as the African Cup of Nations with Senegal this season. However, his return from national duty in February coincided with a dip in his form. He recently made some high-profile errors; one in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid being a strong case for this point. Chelsea also lost heavily to Brentford at home, with Mendy’s errors being the focal point of the loss.
Nevertheless, Chelsea are in their second consecutive FA Cup final and will play Liverpool on 14 May. The Senegalese’s shot-stopping abilities and strong influence in the defensive third are sure to make a difference at Wembley.
#2 Alisson Becker
Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker is currently one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. He did not have a very good 2020-21 season compared to what he had achieved in the two seasons prior. However, fans will remember Alisson’s amazing injury-time header from last season to win the game against West Bromich Albion and help secure Liverpool’s place in this season’s Champions League.
Alisson has continued to put in impressive performances this season and is the only ‘keeper to better Ederson’s total clean sheets in the league so far with 18. He is also one of only three goalkeepers to have an assist to their name so far too.
With Liverpool’s high press and high backline, Alisson probably has more to do than people may think. But this season, the Brazilian number one has certainly cemented his position as the best goalkeeper in one-on-one situations. Liverpool are alive and well in four competitions this season and the 29-year-old will be key if the club aim to pull off a miraculous quadruple.
#1 Ederson Moraes
Manchester City v Fulham – Premier League
The calmness that Ederson exudes in seemingly dangerous situations has probably cost many Manchester City fans years off their lives. Brazilian goalkeepers haven’t always worked in the Premier League, with Heurelho Gomes and Julio Cesar to name a couple who had more bad games than good. But over the past three years Ederson and another Brazilian, Alisson Becker, have led the way in top-class goalkeepers in the Premier League.
Ederson has been a rock at the back for Manchester City since joining from Benfica in 2017, helping the club win three Premier League titles in the last four seasons. He won the Premier League Golden Glove for two consecutive seasons – 2019-20 and 2020-21.
This season has been no exception, and with 17 clean sheets, Ederson is second in the race for the Golden Glove. His long-range passing has always been a topic of conversation amongst fans and pundits. His calmness and confidence on the ball allows the Cityzens’ defenders to focus on their passing game. With City and Liverpool going neck-to-neck for the title, Ederson might just turn out to be the differentiating factor.