These sides are experiencing a dilemma with their existing options under the bars.
Strengthening the goalkeeping department of a team is often not the foremost of objectives for the most of the clubs operating in the transfer market. Generally, they tend to focus more on looking for solutions on the goal-scoring front rather than adding reinforcements in the form of a new goalkeeper.
However, there are several top European clubs currently that could better their performances with a more formidable, reliable and consistent new goalkeeper in the roster. Here, we look at five clubs who are in dire need to sign a new goalkeeper in the summer transfer window.
One would have never assumed a couple of years ago that Manchester United will face an emergency on the goalkeeping front. However, David de Gea’s indifferent run of form has now persisted for way too long to be overlooked. The Spaniard has been a stalwart for the Red Devils ever since joining the club since 2011.
His progress and prodigious run of form was incomparable at one point in time, with it particularly peaking in the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. However, the Spaniard has been on a steep decline ever since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with it being glaringly obvious in United’s 3-1 defeat against Chelsea in the semifinals of the FA Cup.
De Gea’s rather shambolic howlers handed over a convenient victory to Frank Lampard’s men. In addition to that, the shot-stopper has made three errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season, which is the second most amongst all players from every club involved. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has firmly persisted with the 29-year-old so far but the defeat against Chelsea might just have turned the final chapter in David de Gea’s iconic journey so far with Manchester United.
Following Thibaut Courtois’ departure to Real Madrid in 2018, Chelsea looked to replace the belligerent Belgian with a promising new goalkeeper in Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Spaniard had been making waves with his performances for Athletic Bilbao and was deemed to be suitable for the style of play that Maurizio Sarri looked to implement with the London giants. The Blues spent a record €80 million to rope in the custodian but his progress has been mediocre at best since then.
There has been a growing consensus to seek an upgrade over the 25-year-old and the echoes have only grown louder since his glaring inability to communicate aptly with the backline in the recent 5-3 defeat against Liverpool. The Spaniard has managed to maintain merely eight clean sheets in 33 Premier League appearances this season. Furthermore, the team has conceded a massive 47 goals with Kepa manning the posts.
Chelsea has shown tangible improvement under Frank Lampard’s tutelage but their progress will encounter a roadblock with the uncertain form of their first-choice goalkeeper. After two seasons, his tenure at the club might just conclude in the coming months.
Finding a suitable successor for one of the splendid talented individuals from their squad isn’t a new task for AFC Ajax. The Dutch giants have repeatedly replaced some of their valuable young players through their robust youth system. Now, the club might have to do so again in the case of their goalkeeper Andre Onana.
The 24-year-old has been a consistent starter for the first-team since the past few years and even represented them in 24 Eredivisie matches in the 2019-20 campaign. His reflexes are impressive and so is Onana’s ability to properly distribute the ball from the back.
He has racked up 79% passing accuracy in the league this season and is being touted to make a move elsewhere, probably even to Chelsea for the upcoming season. Ajax have specific demands with respect to the method in which they expect their goalkeepers to operate. That, combined with Onana’s continued presence in the first-team since 2016-17 indicates that finding a new goalkeeper in his place will probably be a difficult task.
It is arguably of utmost importance for Borussia Dortmund to have a superior goalkeeper in their squad if they aspire to disturb Bayern Munich’s hegemony over the Bundesliga title. Dortmund are 13 points behind the Bavarians currently, but they have conceded nine more goals than the table-toppers in the same number of matches.
It is probably complicated to equal the number of goals that Bayern score, solely due to the plethora of talent that they have at their disposal. However, some more discipline and order in their defensive line can aid Lucien Favre’s men to lessen the gap between the two clubs. BVB have a goal difference of 43 this season against 68 of Bayern.
Much of it is attributed to the sub-par form demonstrated by Roman Burki, who has conceded 40 goals in the 31 matches that he has played in the league. Interestingly, Dortmund has conceded only one goal in the three matches that Marwin Hitz has started for them. Perhaps, the team can benefit from a change of personnel in the goalkeeping unit.
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AS Monaco have conceded the fourth highest number of goals in the topmost division of French football this season. More importantly, the only clubs who equal or surpass them in this parameter are placed from the 17th-20th spots in the league table as of now.
This surely indicates that the Les Monégasques have a significant issue to solve in their backline, and one of the ways to do so will arguably be to designate a new goalkeeper to replace Benjamin Lecomte as the first-choice custodian of the club.
The 29-year-old has played in all of the 28 games this season and has witnessed 44 goals scored against his team in the time being. Of course, a feeble defensive setup has played a major role in Monaco’s inability to resist the flow of goals. Hence, a sizable revamp will possibly be required on that front and accordingly the team might have to search for a more efficient custodian in place of the former Montpellier HSC player.