These are the top-5 keepers in the English Premier Leaguefor 2013/14 season (as of 25/12/2013). The ratings are accumulated by the Player Performance Index (PPI) powered by EA Games – the official player-rating system of the Barclays Premier League.
5) Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) PPI Rating: 180 points
Asmir Begovic was an unknown quantity when he arrived at Stoke City as the understudy to Danish veteran Thomas Sorensen. Over the next four seasons, he has steadily increased his stock to become one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the Premier League. Stoke has been hardly more attractive this season , even after bringing Mark Hughes as the manager to replace Tony Pulis in the summer; however Begovic has been in sparkling form yet again for the Potters with 73.4% saves success rate. The Bosnian keeper also scored his first career-goal this season after his colossal clearance bounced in front and over Southampton counterpart Artur Boruc into the goal. Begovic has been continually linked with some of the top English clubs and a move away from Stoke may well be in the offing this January.
4) Petr Cech (Chelsea) PPI Rating: 182 points
In 2004, Petr Cech was one of the key signings for Jose Mourinho’s first tenure as the manager of Chelsea and is one of the few survivors of that title-winning team to have remained at Stamford Bridge till his second coming. Widely regarded as the best shot-stopper in the Premiership for the past decade, Cech holds the league-record for the fewest appearances required to reach100 clean-sheets, needing just 180 games to complete the milestone. With 21shutouts during the 2004/05 campaign, Cech also holds the record for having the most clean-sheets in a single Premier League season. But contrary to Mourinho’s initial spell in charge of Chelsea, the club is suffering from defensive inconsistencies this season and that has restricted Cech to just 4 clean-sheets so far. The Chelsea manager has disclosed his futility at finding the best-11 but the goalkeeper’s position is purely in Petr Cech’s capable hands.
3) Tim Howard (Everton): PPI Rating: 189 points
Under new manager Roberto Martinez, Everton have been the most in-form in the Premier League throughout this season on the back of their excellent defensive performance. The Toffees possess the stingiest defence in the league with a league-high 8 clean-sheets for their keeper Tim Howard while conceding a paltry 17 goals this season. Howard has also made two penalty-saves this season (although one did knock back into the goal after hitting the post), with an overall saves success rate of 74.6%. The American keeper may have failed to become a first-choice at Manchester United but at Everton he has definitely established himself as one of the best in the Premier League.
2) Simon Mignolet (Liverpool): PPI Rating: 206 points
Simon Mignolet joined Liverpool this summer after completing a £9 million transfer from Sunderland to replace Pepe Reina, who is currently on-loan at Napoli. With 5 clean-sheets so far, three of them coming in the opening three games, Mignolet has had a fantastic start to his Liverpool career. Luis Suarez may be the reason why Liverpool enjoys one of the best offensive records in the Premiership, but at the other end Mignolet has been largely responsible for giving the Reds a very good defensive record as well. The Belgian goalkeeper has the best saves success rate at an astounding 75.6% despite having faced over 200 shots on target. Although he is a phenomenal shot-stopper, Mignolet still needs to work on the other facets of a goalkeeper’ game, but at 25 he is definitely one of the brightest young keepers in England.
1) Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal): PPI Rating
Arsenal has not won a trophy for eight years and a part of that is because they have not found a dependable keeper since Jens Lehmann. But in the past 3 years, young Wojciech Szczesny has shown enough promise to emerge the first-choice for manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal has been in the driving seat in the Premiership for much of this season and their keeper has been one of their unsung heroes. With 6 clean-sheets Arsenal has the second-best defence in the league, conceding just 6 goals at home. Until last week’s 6-3 drubbing away at Manchester City, Szczesny enjoyed the best saves success rate at an incredible 80% which has now dropped to a very average 73.1%. The young polish keeper was clearly at fault for a couple of City’s goals, so the Gunners’ faithful will hope the damage was not enough to perturb his newfound confidence.
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