It’s often said that a reliable goalkeeper can win a side several points each season, while goalkepers are now no longer just the last line of defence, but often the first point of attack with build-up from the back.
Several sides are in search of a new number one this summer and we’ve picked out five goalkeepers who are in demand this transfer window.
Five goalkeepers in demand this summer transfer window.
Andre Onana is understood to be top of the wish-list for several top teams after an outstanding first season at Inter Milan. The Cameroon international was a stand-out performer in last season’s Champions League as Inter made an unexpected run to the final, with the security that Onana provided – recording five clean sheets in the knockout rounds alone – a major factor in their success.
Chelsea and Manchester United are keen on the 27-year-old, who previously worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax. Onana could prove an ideal fit for Man United, already well-versed in the manager’s methods and an upgrade on David de Gea when it comes to distribution and confidence in possession.
Most clean sheets ✅
Most saves ✅
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 22, 2023
Onana commands his penalty box impressively and rarely lacks belief with the ball at his feet, his schooling in Barcelona’s La Masia academy evident as the goalkeeper sells dummies to opposition forwards and finds passes with unerring accuracy.
Inter Milan are understood to want a fee of around €50m for Onana this summer, a reasonable sum for a goalkeeper tailor-made for the modern demands of a number one. He would represent an upgrade on the current options at interested sides.
Brentford have held firm in their valuation of David Raya so far this summer, despite the goalkeeper’s desire to leave the club and contract situation. Raya has just a year to run on his deal with the Bees and has attracted interest from a number of the Premier League’s top clubs.
Spurs were understood to have agreed personal terms with Raya, but have since turned their attention to Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario after Brentford’s refusal to budge on a £40m asking price. Thomas Frank views Raya as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers and the statistics make for impressive reading after a key role in Brenford’s success last season.
David Raya: “I have ambitions to make the next step in my career. I want to try to win titles and to compete in Europe”. ⚪️ #THFC
“There are options out there but it’s not just my ambitions, the club also needs to let me go”, told Times.
Personal terms agreed with Tottenham. pic.twitter.com/iVwZTl7wsF
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 17, 2023
He ranks in the 92nd percentile or higher in Europe’s top five leagues for save percentage, average touches per game and crosses claimed, while he completed more accurate long passes than any goalkeeper in the Premier League last season. That ability to find passes over long range has been a potent weapon for Brentford and Raya’s elite distribution has attracted considerable interest in his services.
Brentford have already completed a deal to sign Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken for £11m as a replacement for Raya.
Dominik Livaković starred during last winter’s World Cup to place his name on the radar of clubs in search of a new goalkeeper.
The Croatian was superb during his nation’s run to the last four in Qatar, producing a number of fine saves and penalty heroics for Zlatko Dalić’s side. He became just the third goalkeeper to save three penalties in one shootout during the last-16 win over Japan, before earning the rarity of a 10/10 rating from French publication L’Équipe for an 11-save performance in the quarter-final win over Brazil.
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) June 16, 2023
Anticipated interest in January failed to lead to a move, but rumours of a €10m (£8.8m) release clause in his contract at Dinamo Zagreb has since made Livaković an intriguing option for sides in search of a new number one.
The 28-year-old might feel now is the right time to test himself out of his homeland, after 285 appearances for Dinamo and six Croatian league titles.
Caoimhin Kelleher faces a decision on his future this summer with the Irishman keen on regular first-team football.
Caoimhin Kelleher has spent eight seasons at Liverpool since joining the club’s academy as a teenager and has provided competition and cover for Alisson across the last four seasons.
The 24-year-old has made just 21 appearances in that time and despite cup success – he started the final as Liverpool won the Carabao Cup in 2021/22 – his opportunities have been limited behind arguably the Premier League’s top goalkeeper.
Goalkeeping heroics from Caoimhin Kelleher in the Carabao Cup 🧤 pic.twitter.com/XEqH4IjlOM
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 20, 2022
Kelleher has shown enough in his sporadic appearances to indicate that he can handle a number one role elsewhere and several Premier League clubs have been linked with a move. Liverpool will be reluctant to lose the goalkeeper given his performances as number two and homegrown status, but could allow Kelleher to move on for a fee of around £20m.
A regular role as first-choice will aid Kelleher’s hopes of becoming number one for the Republic of Ireland, for who he has won 10 caps since his debut in 2021.
Bart Verbruggen is on the radar of top-flight clubs after a breakthrough campaign at Anderlecht. The 20-year-old broke into the side last season and ended the campaign with a call-up to the Netherlands senior side and as Anderlecht’s Player of the Season for 2022/23.
Brighton, Burnley and Manchester United have been linked with the promising shot-stopper, who is currently with the Dutch u21 side at this summer’s European Championship, and the former are understood to be closing in on a deal.
Bart Verbruggen for Anderlecht this season:
⚽️28 goals conceded
⛔️6.71 goals prevented
20 years of age. One of the biggest revelations in Europe this season. 🟣 pic.twitter.com/APpExvTuus
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 15, 2023
Verbruggen admitted recently that he is flattered to be linked with a Premier League move and discussed his ‘dream to play football in England’.
Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Belang van Limburg, he said: “I have always said that it is my dream to play football in England. Just the fact that I’m mentioned there is something to be proud of.
“I have very capable people who work for me. They know what they are doing and ask me the right questions when needed. But I am only concerned with the things that I myself influence. And at the moment that is the European Championship with the juniors.”
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