It’s important for every team that the whole of the defense does its part with astute coordination in a football game. Yet a very important part of this puzzle is a team’s custodian between the sticks, an essential make of break player as suggested by many. Defensive frailties have been overcome by coaches throughout Europe, by roping in top quality keepers. And with the modern game getting more competitive every passing day, the need of a top notch goalkeeper is paramount. Sport wiki looks in the new Barclays Premier League season, and its star goal keepers so far…

3) Thibaut Courtois: When Chelsea spent 5 million Euros for the young kid from Belgium side Genk in 2011, the lanky U18 goalkeeper was already a teen prodigy waiting to burst into the world scene. A move to the London club didn’t last long though, with Courtois being loaned out to Athletico Madrid for the next few seasons. And 3 seasons later, at 22, Thibaut Courtois is ranked amongst the top 5 goalkeepers in the world and definitely amongst the best young keepers at this time. At 6 foot 6 inches, the Belgian is a storehouse of amazing reflexes and displays outstanding composure given his age. Coach Jose Mourinho too, has been quick to hand him the starting place ahead of Peter Cech this season, and the Belgium has not failed him till now. With 4 clean sheets already to show in his brief Premier league life, the Belgian has been a towering presence for the Chelsea defense with blinding fast reflex saves and great distribution on show. The only thing that he needs to work upon is his communication with the back line, where he evidently looks lacking.

2) Fraser Forster: Power rankings are incomplete without new players and their shining stars, it seems! The keeper from Scottish side, Celtic was brought into the ailing Southampton side by new coach Ronald Koeman in the recent transfer window, to shore up his defensive problems. And the results are there to show! With an amazing 7 clean sheets in 12 games, nothing seems to have gone through the sturdy Englishman so far. His composure and one on one saves have proved to be crucial for the saints, averaging 4 saves per game, thereby helping them to 2nd spot in the Premier League. Very few will remember though, that the big Englishman was actually a part of the Newcastle United side till 2012, while being loaned out every season during his stay before managing a permanent move to the Scottish League. Three very productive seasons, both domestically and in the Champions League helped him to catch the eye of many big clubs in Europe. And re-signed back to the premier league at a modest 10 million Euros with such hot form, surely Newcastle will be left licking their wounds.

1) David De Gea: In 2011, the former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson splashed the cash on a young 21 year old Spanish goalkeeper, David De Gea from Athletico Madrid, with a reported 20 million Euro transfer fee, clearly in acknowledgement to the vast yet raw talent that he brought with him. However, the highly regarded young goalkeeper failed to reach the heights of his predecessor, the iconic Edwin Van Der Saar, much to the disappointment of the United faithful. But fast forward to this season, De Gea seems to have turned the corner. Having shown drastic improvements this season in both his decision making skills as well as his physical attributes, the Spanish goalkeeper has been the only player in the troubled United side to have started all the games so far. And despite not having too many clean sheets to his name, the 24 year old shot stopper has had an average 8 saves per game, mostly vital and acrobatic ones. Surely he has kept the score boards from tilting further against the Reds this season, thereby pushing him up to top spot in our rankings. And in his present form, new manager Loius Van Gaal can ill afford to lose this player to the host of European Goliaths hovering to secure the services of the Spanish goalkeeper.


    Rafa Benitez Fanatic, Analyzes tactics, Football Fan

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