These custodians have been brilliant in their job despite not getting the recognition they perhaps deserved more.
The Premier League is the most followed league in the world and its due to the riveting action and drama on the pitch that is the reason that captivates the attention of the audiences. The Premier League has been home to some of the best players of all time – with it unchanged in the current scenario as well.
Some of them have been goalkeepers, and for all their worth and effort, they have rather been under-appreciated and much-maligned for the efforts they have put in. But some goalkeepers have proven to be impregnable at their best and have thereby amassed more clean sheets in their time in the Premier League.
As the saying goes, “attack wins you matches, but defence wins you titles”- these goalkeepers are a testament to the success of the teams that they’ve represented and have been an integral part of it.
Let’s take a look at the five goalkeepers who have kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League over the years.
5. Nigel Martyn (137)
Nigel Martyn starts off our list with 137 clean sheets in 372 Premier League appearances. He represented Crystal Palace, Everton and Leeds United in a 20-year career where he also represented the England National Team in four tournaments and made 23 appearances.
Martyn became the first goalkeeper in British football to have received a transfer fee of £1 million when he moved to Crystal Palace in 1989. The keeper maintained 82 clean sheets while at Leeds United, his highest for a single club and was voted into the Centenary XI of Crystal Palace and also the Leeds United Best Ever XI.
Martyn retired in 2006 and is currently playing amateur level cricket in a Leeds-based local league, at the age of 53.
4. David Seaman (140)
Seaman is considered one of the finest English goalkeepers of all time due to his exploits for Arsenal. As part of the Gunners side of the 1990s, the then ponytailed keeper represented Arsenal 405 times keeping 137 clean sheets, winning three league titles including the erstwhile First Division in 1990-91.
Seaman has the fifth-best clean sheet percentage in the history of Premier League. The Arsenal great also won the FA Cup four times and the League Cup once. He featured in 75 appearances for the Three Lions including the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. He is currently lending his voice to BBC Commentary on the Premier League.
3. Mark Schwarzer (151)
Mark Schwarzer has the most appearances for a non-British player and the second most number of appearances for a goalkeeper in the Premier League playing in 514 games across a two-decade-long career in the Premier League where he moved in from FC Kaiserslautern in 1996.
During his time in the Premier League, Schwarzer played for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City with the bulk of it being played in the first two clubs. He kept 151 clean sheets in the process where he kept 92 at Middlesbrough and 56 while at Fulham.
Although he didn’t achieve major success, he was an integral part of Middlesbrough and Fulham during his time and proved to be a capable custodian between the sticks. He is also the record-appearance maker for Australia with 109 caps for the Socceroos.
2. David James (169)
David James is one of the most iconic British keepers of all time. He is also the most capped goalkeeper of all time in the Premier League. James remained in the Premier League for two and a half decades and featured a whopping 572 times for clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City, Watford (his first professional club), Portsmouth and AFC Bournemouth.
During his time in the Premier League, James kept 169 clean sheets, the brunt of which he managed at Liverpool for whom he featured the most number of times in his career. He also represented England in 53 appearances.
Following his move away from England, David James was signed up by Kerala Blasters in the ISL in 2015 as a marquee player in 2015 before moving into full-time management. But he was sacked in 2018 owing to poor results in the season. He has since settled into media and television as a pundit.
1. Petr Cech (202)
David James might be one of the best British keepers, but in the Premier League it has to be Petr Cech who has been the best. The Czech custodian formed part of the fabled Chelsea side over the years and came to be known as a household name while at Stamford Bridge.
Cech has kept the most number of clean sheets (202) in the Premier League while playing in 443 Premier League appearances for London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal. He moved to Chelsea in 2004 and spent 11 glorious years at the blue half of London, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup, UEFA Champions League and Europa League. He also managed to sneak out on an FA Cup win with Arsenal in 2016-17.
His individual exploits won him the Premier League Golden Glove four times and he was part of the 2004-05 and 2013-14 Premier League Team of the year. He also holds the record for the most clean sheets in a single league season with 24.
Cech also represented the Czech Republic on 124 occasions and is the most-capped player of his nation.
Having ended his playing career in 2019 at Arsenal, Cech is currently at Chelsea working as a performance advisor to the board led by Marina Granovskaia.