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Who is the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era?

September 15, 2015

- Grant Whittington

With Manchester United goal keeper David De Gea almost certain to leave the Premier League for the bright lights of Madrid , the EPL is being robbed of  one of its promising custodians of all-time. Few have showcased such potential and ability from such a young age, especially in the harsh and physical surroundings of the Premier League. This is despite the fact that De Gea is the latest in a long line of talented keepers who have plied their trade in England’s top flight, and often formed the unheralded barrier between success and failure.

The Top 3 Keepers in EPL History

So who exactly are the best goal keepers to have performed in the English Premier League? Here are our favourites: –

Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United and Aston Villa)

The undisputed number one, Danish ‘keeper was the single most effective goal keeper that the EPL has ever seen. Signed for just £500,000 before the Premier League was formed, Schmeichel was famous for his stunning one-on-one saves and ability to win points for United when his side needed them the most. He was also a leader and an organiser for the Red Devils, and his strength of character often helped the club to prosper during difficult times. Also the first ‘keeper to score in the Premier League years, his future could have taken a decidedly different course after flirting with the Old Trafford exit in 1994 following a furious row with Sir Alex Ferguson.2.

Peter Cech (Chelsea and Arsenal)

While Peter Cech’s recent EPL debut for new club Arsenal left a great deal to be desired, he remains one of the most consistent and durable goal keepers in the history of the league. His success is even more impressive when you consider that both his life and his career were threatened after a clash with Reading’s Stephen Hunt that left Cech nursing a fractured skull. He went on to form the bedrock for the Blues’ success under Jose Mourinho, while also remaining the one constant during several transitions since then.

Edwin Van Der Sar (Fulham and Manchester United)

After Peter Schmeichel left Old Trafford, the club struggled for years to replace him adequately. Players such as French World Cup winner Fabien Barthez and the now infamous Italian custodian Massimo Taibi tried and failed to fill the void, and it was not until United signed Dutch stopper Edwin Van Der Sar from Fulham that they finally found their solution. Tall and with a natural presence, Van Der Sar offered reassurance at the back and helped United to win three league titles, a league cup, a Champions league and a World Club Cup during his time at Old Trafford.

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