Football Features

Best Premier League goalkeepers right now in 2023

By James Amey

Published: 19:30, 1 December 2023

Who are the best modern goalkeepers in the Premier League right now?

To be a goalkeeper in the Premier League these days, you have to be good with your feet as well as your hands. Being comfortable on the ball is an important factor many coaches look for when selecting their newest number one. Many managers even base their build-up on having ‘keepers with the vision and skill to pick out a pass if needed.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at which goalkeepers rank highly for distribution in 2023.

Here are the best Premier League goalkeepers for distribution, based on their 2023 Squawka Score rating:

Rank Player Name Minutes Played Squawka Score
1. Ederson 2,790 79%
2. David Raya 2,610 74%
3. Emi Martinez 2,925 74%
4. Jason Steele 1,980 71%
5. Alisson 3,060 66%

Unsurprisingly, Manchester City ‘keeper Ederson comes in at number one, ranking in the top 5% for long ball accuracy and in the top 20% for passes in open play, open-play pass accuracy, passes attempted, passes completed and pass accuracy. Arsenal’s former goalkeeper Emi Martinez and the Gunners’ newest goalkeeper David Raya, both make the top three, now giving Mikel Arteta the option of having someone between the sticks who excels with the ball at his feet.

Roberto De Zerbi made the switch earlier in the year, bringing in Jason Steele for Robert Sanchez for his possession-based football and it’s easy to see why. The Brighton shot-stopper is in the top 5% for both pass accuracy and long ball accuracy, explaining the decision to offload Sanchez to Chelsea. Liverpool’s Alisson, makes up the top five and when you combine this with his save percentage and goal prevention stats, it shows just how much of a complete package the Brazilian is.

Save Percentage

Distribution isn’t everything, though. Goalkeepers are the most difficult players to analyse using data. High output is typically more reflective of poor team defending than a goalkeeper’s individual skill. To accommodate this fact, we picked out the top fives for save percentage and goals prevented to highlight other key stats goalkeepers can be judged by.

Player Saves Save Percentage
David Raya 91 78%
André Onana 51 76%
Bernd Leno 134 74%
Alisson 99 73%
Emiliano Martínez 94 72%

Minimum 1,000 minutes played.

As well as coming in the top five for their ‘Squawka Distribution Score’, Alisson also figures in the top five for save percentage, with Liverpool’s number one coming in ahead of Emiliano Martínez but behind André Onana and Arsenal number one David Raya.

Bernd Leno, who has made the most saves (134) in 2023 by a Premier League goalkeeper, finds himself sandwiched in between Onana and Alisson with Martínez completing the top five.

Goals Prevented in 2023/24

Player Goals Conceded xGOTC Goals Prevented
Thomas Kaminski 22 28.3 6.3
André Onana 15 18.67 3.67
Neto 20 23.49 3.49
Alisson 10 13.36 3.36
Guglielmo Vicario 16 19.31 3.31

Minimum 900 minutes played. Own goals and penalties not included. 

André Onana’s presence here might surprise a few given the slew of high-profile errors he’s made so far in his young Man Utd career. Erik ten Hag, who previously fielded him at Ajax, came to his defence recently.

“If you analyse it well then you see he is the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League based on stats, so his expected defending goals is the second best in the Premier League,” he told reporters.

Onana is currently tied for most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with five. He’s also prevented 3.67 goals – the second most in the league. Only Luton Town’s Thomas Kaminski is ahead of the Cameroonian on 6.3 goals prevented.

Those figures come from Opta, with actual goals conceded being taken away from the expected goals on target (xGOT) conceded figures, which reflect quality of chances for the opponent and shot execution.

How did we rank the Premier League’s best goalkeepers?

We’ve used the Twenty3 Sport Discovery Tool to find the best players in each position. The Discovery Tool rates a player’s per 90 output in the following 12 stats to produce a percentage score – we’ll refer to it as the Squawka Score.

Each player’s stats are compared to the average output of goalkeepers across the past three seasons of big-five European league football. To be awarded a score, a player must have reached the automatically calculated minutes threshold. In this case, 900 minutes and started a minimum of 15 matches. The more they rank in the 95th percentile and above for each metric, the higher the score. We have also weighted each stat from 1 to 5 to highlight the most important aspects for a goalkeeper.

Squawka goalkeeper ranking metrics Weighting
Passes attempted| Long passes attempted | Passes in open play attempted | Final third entries | Penalty area entries 1
Passes into opp. half attempted 2
Passes completed | Long passes completed | Passes in open play 3
Pass accuracy | Long ball accuracy| Open play pass accuracy 5

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