Not Onana – 2023 Best goalkeeper in the Premier League revealed

Who is the finest Premier League goalkeeper? We show the league’s genuine No. 1 by taking into account shot-stopping, handling, cross-claiming, sweeping, and distribution…

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Using data from goalie xG, a subsidiary of the Group, we examine how each goalie did in each area last season, alongside former Premier League stopper Brad Friedel and goalkeeper expert Dr. John Harrison.

Friedel and Harrison also discuss if Arsenal will gain from signing David Raya and having two No. 1 goalkeepers, whether Manchester United made the correct decision in letting David De Gea leave, and why Chelsea bought Robert Sanchez.

The data has been used on Monday Night Football and is well-regarded in the industry, with former goalkeeper Richard Lee looking to incorporate the measurements into his player agency. “Until now, I believe goalkeeper data has been far inferior when compared to outfield players,” Lee adds.

“It began with’saves made,’ which was intriguing – but the goalkeeper who played for the bottom club usually topped that stat.” Then there was save %, which varied depending on the sort of squad.

“Expected goals has been the best new metric in recent times, but, once again, it only tells a portion of the story.” There are so many different aspects to a goalkeeper’s game, and this data elevates it.”

So, what can we learn from this new breed of data about Premier League goalkeepers from last season?

Shot-blocking and parrying

Last season, Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno exceeded all of his competitors in terms of pure shot-stopping, assisting the Cottagers to a top-half finish in the Premier League table.

“Leno had a crazy shot-stopping season,” Harrison says. “In every other category, he was average or below average.” So maybe he just had a bad season, but he saved 38 of the 54 1v1s he faced, which is much above the 50% average 1v1 save rate.

Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Raya were the next best shot-stoppers, trailing by some distance.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s Neto, Lukasz Fabianski, and Raya led the way in parrying, with a slew of stoppers close behind, including Danny Ward, Jose Sa, Alisson, and Martinez.

Cross-claiming and sweeping

Claiming crosses and sweeping are both shot-preventing actions, with older goalkeepers often being stronger at claiming but terrible at sweeping – whilst the opposite is often true for modern stoppers.

Alisson of Liverpool led the league in sweeping, beating Saints keeper and former Manchester City reserve Gazunu, Martinez, and Ramsdale.

Martinez was more dominant than his peers in terms of claiming crosses during the season, closely followed by Newcastle’s Nick Pope, Alisson, and Ederson.

Preventing and distributing shots

What about preventing shots all together? This incorporates a number of aspects, including shot handling (to avoid fumbles in the direction of opponents), running out to sweep up through balls, and distribution skills.

“Clubs like Liverpool and Manchester City have taken things to the next level and started competing in the Champions League,” Harrison explains.

“They’ve adopted this model of having more of the ball and facing fewer shots because the ‘keeper prevents shots against them and assists in maintaining possession.” As a result, teams appear to be gravitating toward this concept. These ‘keepers aren’t always the best shot-stoppers, but they do prevent shots from being taken in the first place.”

Unsurprisingly, Ederson leads the way in distribution, aided by his magnificent assist for Erling Haaland against Brighton in October, which ranks as the finest goalkeeper pass of the season. Jordan Pickford of Everton is the only other goalkeeper to come close, with the England No. 1 frequently shooting long passes to teammates.

Alisson and Martinez lead the way in overall shot prevention, followed by Pope and Ederson.

De Gea and Hugo Lloris, on the other hand, are among the bottom three, highlighting the pair’s deterioration after consistently ranking among the elite in past campaigns.

Overall Ranking

Martinez was the top-performing ‘keeper last season, adding 0.44 goals for his team per 90 minutes when all six criteria are considered.

After winning the World Cup in December, the Argentine played a key role in guiding Aston Villa to a seventh-place finish under Unai Emery.

Alisson comes in second to retain his constant consistency across seasons, while Leno’s ‘outrageously superb’ first season at Craven Cottage after leaving Arsenal earns the German third place.

In terms of current goalkeepers, possible Arsenal signing Raya ranks three places higher than current No. 1 Ramsdale, who has been penalized for multiple expensive blunders.

After a difficult period in which he lost his starting spot at Brighton, Kepa jumps ahead of Sanchez at Chelsea.

Finally, De Gea finished tenth, helped by his usual shot-stopping ability but hampered by his developing unwillingness to come off his line, multiple gaffes, and distribution issues.

Screenshot 2023 08 28 090852ManUtdFC-Blog

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