In each game of football, it is the goalkeeper who lays the foundation for the team. Their role is imperative to a team’s defense. In the modern iteration of the game, their role has evolved to assuming attacking responsibilities as well.
Goalkeepers are no longer simply expected to show up in the opponents’ penalty area to head balls from a corner kick during injury time. The modern keeper is viewed as an initiator of the team’s build-up. Their modern role includes spotting runs from attacking players and launching balls forward.
Their responsibilities also entail distributing passes in an effective way so that the team is able to break the opponents’ counter-press. All alongside, of course, performing their primary duty of making stunning reflex saves that stop their team from conceding goals.
Apart from these responsibilities, goalkeepers are also required to be leaders within the D-box. Goalkeepers with their loud and vocal communication need to make sure that the defense ahead works in cohesion and as such stops counter-attacks effectively.
Moreover, they need to avoid mix-ups between defenders. Goalkeepers are the ones who constantly need to be switched on to communicate swiftly and resolve such mix-ups at the earliest.
Therefore, in order to judge the present in-form keepers, we consider a number of metrics. These include the team’s defensive record, number of clean sheets, the number of saves made and their respective save percentages.
On that note, let us take a look at
Five most in-form goalkeepers in Europe’s big five leagues right now
#5 Koen Casteels
VfL Wolfsburg v RB Leipzig – Bundesliga
Koen Casteels is a twenty-five-year-old Belgian keeper who plays for German side Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. With Wolfsburg off to a stellar start in the current campaign, Casteels has played an incremental role in their defense so far. Casteels, having featured in all five of Wolfsburg’s Bundesliga fixtures, has conceded only two goals and has kept three clean sheets.
He currently boasts a remarkable save percentage of 92.3%. Wolfsburg look strong and comfortable at the back knowing Casteels’ talent and current form. They are surely off to a better start than what they have enjoyed in their recent seasons. They sit second in the Bundesliga table with 13 points, behind Bayern Munich on goal difference.
#4 David De Gea
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United – Premier League
Manchester United’s number one David De Gea is off to a strong start in what is his tenth year at the club. He has had a flurry of disappointing performances in the season before. But David De Gea has surely looked like a player who has returned to his very best so far this season.
With him having featured in all five of Manchester United’s Premier League fixtures so far, he has secured two man-of-the-match awards for his groundbreaking saves. David De Gea put in a heroic performance in Manchester United’s recent fixture away to West Ham United. He saved a last-minute penalty from Mark Noble awarded to West Ham after a handball by Luke Shaw and secured all three points for his team.
De Gea currently boasts of a save percentage of 77.8% and has one clean sheet to his name. The glowing stat that makes him stand out is the fifteen saves he has already made to add to Manchester United’s defensive record.
Manchester City v Southampton – Premier League
Manchester City’s start to the current campaign may not have been as glowing as some predicted. But if there is one thing that a Pep Guardiola team always excels in, it is in their strong defensive record. Ederson, an imperative part of their starting eleven, has been a key component behind this defensively sound start for the club.
Ederson has four clean sheets for Manchester City so far and has only conceded one goal from open play. Although with only five saves to his name, Ederson enjoys a save percentage of 80% and looks solid between the sticks for City.
Manchester City v Chelsea FC – UEFA Champions League Final
Edouard Mendy is a player who has been a revelation for Chelsea’s defense ever since he arrived at the club. Chelsea had struggled to have a top-quality goalkeeper among their ranks since the exit of Thibaut Courtois. After an arguably failed and costly experiment with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea’s appointment of Edouard Mendy in 2020 has surely put an end to those struggles. He played a crucial part in Chelsea’s Champions League winning defense in the 2020-21 season.
In the new season, Mendy has sought to continue with his excellent form. Chelsea’s robust defense has also meant that they have now kept more clean sheets than they have conceded goals. A major credit for this goes to Edouard Mendy’s services.
He has kept four clean sheets in the Premier League and boasts an impeccable 100% save percentage in the domestic competition. This season has also seen him make sixteen elite saves.
#1 Alisson Becker
Leeds United v Liverpool – Premier League
Alisson is probably the most in-form goalkeeper among the top five European football leagues. His performances so far have been nothing short of elite as he has kept four clean sheets for his team. Across four Premier League matchdays, he has conceded only one goal. He also boasts an elite 93.3% save percentage and has made fourteen saves already.
With Alisson in great form, Liverpool will be looking to return to the top of the Premier League once again.