Alisson won the Premier League Golden Glove for Liverpool last season, but having missed most of the current campaign, the race for goalkeeping supremacy has been blown wide open.
The Brazilian shot-stopper claimed a quite remarkable 21 clean sheets during his maiden campaign at Anfield, but he is yet to keep one this time around having sustained a two-month calf injury on matchday one.
He has since returned, but in his absence, a number of ‘keepers across the country have been upping the ante in their quests for an end-of-season bauble.
But, as we know in football, it’s not all about individual accolades or first-rate metrics; some No. 1s have been in gracious form this season and have simply been a joy to watch.
Ederson (Manchester City)
Considered one of the best goalkeepers in world football – if not the best – with the ball at his feet, Ederson has revolutionised the role between the sticks, functioning as the springboard for City attacks with his precision passing, urgency and downright composure.
But, it is not just his ball-playing competence that has taken centre stage this season. He has also proven world-class when it comes to his main function: preventing goals. Blessed with elite-level dexterity and ridiculous reflexes, the Brazilian has been in top form when it comes to shot-stopping, boasting the fifth-best save percentage this term (74.36%) and keeping the joint-most clean sheets so far (five).
His absence was glaring as Claudio Bravo conceded three goals against Liverpool at Anfield.
Key stat: Ederson currently has the best passing accuracy of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (90.08%).
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United – on loan from Manchester United)
The Man Utd loanee had a moment to forget after his clanger cost the Blades a precious point against Liverpool earlier this season, but the 22-year-old responded in the best way possible by keeping consecutive clean sheets in the proceeding two matches. That sort of bounce-backability is exactly why Sheffield United have started the season so brightly and have conceded the second-fewest number of goals in the league so far (nine).
His immense form could give David De Gea plenty of food for thought next season, while Gareth Southgate recently rewarded him for his early-season heroics with an England call-up earlier this month.
Key stat: Dean Henderson has the third-best save percentage (78.57%) and has made the most passes ending in the final third for goalkeepers (127) in the league this season.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
Leicester have been in red-hot form. There is no question about that. But it hasn’t just been all about the panache and devastation in the final third. Under Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes have been exceptional at both ends of the pitch, scoring for fun in one half, while proving near-impenetrable at the other.
In Schmeichel, Rodgers has not only an experienced and highly-effective shot-stopper, but also a goalkeeper with the ability to play out from the back and spray accurate long-passes – two essential traits in his fluid system. He’s played every single minute so far, and conceded just eight goals in 12 games, helping Leicester to climb to third in the table.
Key stat: Kasper Schmeichel has registered the best save percentage in the Premier League this season (79.49%).
Bernd Leno (Arsenal)
Leno perhaps goes under the radar slightly when considering world-class goalkeepers, but his exploits this season have surely catapulted him into the conversation. The German ‘keeper has been exceptional and would be thought of as one of the continent’s best if he played in front of a more assured defence.
Incredibly, Leno has faced the second-most shots in the league this campaign (197), with only Tom Heaton of Aston Villa facing more (213). It is remarkable then that Arsenal have conceded only 17 goals and remain sixth in the table when their ‘keeper is under this amount of relentless pressure week-in-week-out.
Key stat: Bernd Leno has made more saves than any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (49).
Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)
West Ham started the season in fine fashion and found themselves in an excellent position to potentially break the top six hegemony, but then… Fabianski got injured. The club’s ‘Hammer of the Year’ last season had kept three clean sheets in seven matches prior to tearing a hip muscle. And, well, West Ham haven’t kept one since with Roberto deputising, losing four and drawing one of their last five games.
That has put a considerable dent in West Ham’s aspirations of finishing the season in a strong top-half position, with the Pole not expected back until the New Year. Before his injury earlier this month, Fabianski picked up from where he left off last season and was arguably West Ham’s best player until that point.
Key stat: Up until his injury at the end of September, Fabianski had kept the most clean sheets in the league of any goalkeeper (three).
Tim Krul (Norwich City)
29': Tim Krul saves Marcus Rashford's penalty
44': Tim Krul saves Anthony Martial's penalty
Louis van Gaal knew. pic.twitter.com/jehG6CMY0F
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 27, 2019
Norwich City haven’t started the season the way they would have liked, finding themselves deep in the relegation mire at the minute. But if the Canaries are to have any chance of beating the drop come May, then they will need to keep Krul fit and available.
A fortnight ago against Manchester United he demonstrated exactly why he is so highly-regarded on these shores, and not just for his double penalty save, but more impressively for his quite ridiculous diving save on a close-range Anthony Martial header. The Frenchman cannoned the ball in the direction of Norwich’s goal. But somehow Krul produced cat-like reflexes to keep the Man Utd forward at bay; it will surely go down as one of the saves of the season.
Key stat: Tim Krul has made the fifth-most saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (40).