Some of these players are considered as true legends of the game.
The Premier League is one of the best football competitions in the world and has been home to some of the greatest players in the world over the years. Known for its fast pace, attack-oriented football and demanding physicality, England’s top-tier can be a difficult and daunting place for a goalkeeper. However, many goalkeepers have managed to rise up to the task, showcasing their skills and establishing themselves as one of the best in their position.
Several exciting goalkeepers, such as Petr Cech, Peter Schmeichel and David Seaman have risen to fame from their performances in the Premier League. Considering all of it, let’s take a look at the top 10 greatest goalkeepers in the history of the Premier League.
10. David James
James is one of the most experienced players in the history of the Premier League, making 572 appearances. The Englishman was Liverpool’s first-ever goalkeeper in the Premier League era and had also represented the likes of Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth in his career. James was regarded as one of the best to ever don the gloves in England’s top-tier, amassing 169 clean sheets – the second most in the league.
9. Pepe Reina
Son of legendary Barcelona and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Reina, Pepe Reina began his career in Spain before his move to Liverpool in 2005. The Spaniard made 285 appearances for the Reds in the Premier League. He was the first player to win the Premier League Golden Glove award three times in a row.
8. Jens Lehman
The German custodian had a short Premier League career, making 147 appearances in the league for Arsenal. However, he was the man commanding the defence during their invincible season. Arsene Wenger signed the keeper in the 2003-04 season as a replacement for David Seaman. While he wasn’t as consistent as his predecessor, he had a major impact in the Gunners becoming the first and only club in England’s top-tier to finish a season undefeated.
The Brazilian marked a new era in the Premier League for Manchester City. His ball-playing ability made him indispensable for Pep Guardiola. Ederson has been an integral part of a Manchester City team that has dominated England’s top division since 2016. He has won the league title three times in that period and are on course to a fourth triumph. The Sao Paolo-born goalkeeper also won the Golden Glove award in the 2019-20 season.
6. Joe Hart
A youth academy product of Shrewsbury Town, Joe Hart joined Manchester City in 2006. He became their first choice goalkeeper in 2010 and led the club to their maiden Premier League title in 2012. The Englishman was one of the cornerstones in the club’s transition period, which saw them become a powerhouse in the Premier League. Hart won two league titles with Manchester City and has won the joint-most (4) Premier League Golden Glove awards, along with keeping 127 clean sheets.
5. David de Gea
Hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson himself, David de Gea joined Manchester United in 2011. The Spaniard had a difficult first year but soon established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the league due to his sensational shot-stopping ability. The Spaniard has won the Premier League title once along with winning several domestic honours with the Red Devils in addition to a Europa League triumph.
4. Edwin van der Sar
A Champions League winner with Ajax, the Dutchman moved to Fulham in 2001 in an attempt to reignite his career. Van der Sar made 127 appearances for the Cottagers over a period of four seasons. He then secured a move to English giants Manchester United at the age of 34.
The Dutchman became the first-choice goalkeeper for the Red Devils for six years. He led them to four Premier League titles, along with other domestic trophies. He retired in 2011 with 142 clean sheets and as one of the best keepers in the league’s history.
3. David Seaman
The Englishman was already considered among the best keepers in England before Premier League’s formation in 1992 but further enhanced in the newly formed competition. David Seaman won the Premier League title twice with Arsenal along with several domestic honours, including four FA Cup trophies. He was one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the history of the Premier League. Seaman kept 141 clean sheets in 344 PL appearances, which is the fourth highest on the all-time list.
2. Peter Schmeichel
Peter Schmeichel had an intimidating figure and his ability to command the defence separated him from the rest. The Denmark international spent seven years at Manchester United and was instrumental in Manchester United’s decade-long dominance of the Premier League. He won the Premier League title five times and was a part of the famous 1998-99 treble-winning side. In his twilight years, the veteran keeper played for Aston Villa and Manchester City.
1. Petr Cech
The cornerstone of Chelsea’s success in the Premier League in the new century, Petr Cech joined Chelsea in 2004 and soon established himself as the first-choice keeper. He made 443 appearances in the Premier League, winning a number of honours.
The Czech Republic international won the Premier League title four times, along with various domestic trophies and is also the league’s record clean-sheet and Golden Glove holder. Cech was instrumental in Chelsea’s first top-flight triumph in 50 years, where he spent over 1000 minutes without conceding. In his later years, Cech also represented Arsenal.