The Premier League’s newly-formed Hall of Fame received its inaugural entrants this week, with Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry the first inductees in a celebration of the division’s best.
Shearer ranks as the all-time record scorer in Premier League history with 260 goals for Blackburn and Newcastle, whilst Henry is viewed by many as the finest footballer the league has seen following a glittering career with Arsenal.
The league has since announced a 23-man shortlist to join Shearer and Henry, though the list of legends includes just one goalkeeper with the position one often overlooked when discussing the game’s greats.
In tribute to the greatest goalkeepers of the Premier League era we’ve decided to assess some of the best shot-stoppers the division has seen.
Here are five goalkeepers that should make the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The sole goalkeeper to make the Premier League’s 23-man shortlist for induction into the Hall of Fame, an indication of the esteem in which Peter Schemichel is held in following his achievements for Manchester United.
Schmeichel was the intimidating last line of defence for the Premier League’s most dominant force, the Red Devils winning five of the first seven league titles of the rebranded top-flight as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side reigned supreme.
The Denmark international was a hulking and colossal presence, regularly thwarting opposition forwards with his trademark ‘starfish’ save technique.
He won five league titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League during eight seasons as a Manchester United player, playing a pivotal role in the club’s historic treble-winning season in 1998/99.
Schmeichel had spells with Aston Villa and Manchester City in his latter career, becoming the first Premier League goalkeeper to score a goal for the former during a 3-2 defeat at Everton in 2001.
“One-Nil to the Arsenal” became a popularised chant during the early nineties as the Gunners became famed for their resilient defence under George Graham, the club’s famous back four featuring ahead of one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers in David Seaman.
Seaman was an integral part of Arsenal’s successes throughout the first decade of the Premier League, winning a host of cup competitions and two domestic doubles with the north London side.
Seaman was commanding and a fine shot-stopper, proving the best English goalkeeper of a talented generation as he held the position as Three Lions’ number one to win 75 caps at international level.
He made 564 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions and ranks fourth amongst all goalkeepers for Premier League clean sheets, Seaman part of an experienced old-guard who fused with a modern foreign influence to form one of the division’s greatest sides under Arsene Wenger at Highbury.
No goalkeeper has ever kept more Premier League clean sheets than Petr Cech, with none in fact coming particularly close to the former Chelsea and Arsenal number one.
Cech signed for Chelsea from Rennes in 2004 and quickly became a key part of England’s new dominant force, winning the Premier League title during his maiden season with a record 24 clean sheets and all-time low of just 15 goals conceded.
The Czech Republic international added a second Premier League winners’ medal the following season, one of four he would win at Stamford Bridge amongst 13 major honours.
Cech was a pivotal part of the Chelsea side that became the first London team to win the Champions League in 2012, before making a cross-capital move to Arsenal in 2015 and winning the FA Cup during his time at the Emirates.
He reached a century of clean sheets in just 180 Premier League appearances and is the only goalkeeper in the division’s history to have reached 200+ shut-outs, one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Edwin van der Sar
Having reached the pinnacle of the sport with Champions League success at Ajax, Edwin van der Sar arrived into the Premier League at Fulham in surprise circumstances following an indifferent spell at Juventus.
The Netherlands international spent four seasons with the west Londoners before Manchester United made an approach for the veteran, with Sir Alex Ferguson having seen a series of signings fail to replace the aforementioned Schmeichel.
Van der Sar’s arrival proved an inspired purchase for the Red Devils as he helped the club to a period of huge success, spending six seasons at Old Trafford and winning four Premier League titles and a second Champions League winners’ medal.
The Dutchman set a new world-record after going 1,311 minutes without conceding during the 2008/09 season, a campaign which delivered 21 clean sheets, the Premier League’s Golden Glove and a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year award.
Despite not arriving at United until the age of 34, he made 266 appearances across all competitions with Van der Sar one of the Premier League’s most complete and evergreen goalkeepers.
David de Gea’s period of utter brilliance at Manchester United means he is unfortunate to miss out in our selection, with the fifth nomination heading to Manchester City number one Ederson.
Every so often a player emerges who changes the landscape of how a position is viewed and Ederson is one such example when it comes to Premier League goalkeepers.
The Brazilian signed in a big-money deal from Benfica in 2017 and has been transformative on Manchester City’s fortunes in the seasons since, a shot-stopper so technically blessed with the ball at his feet he is viewed by some amongst the Premier League’s best passers.
The ever-increasing dependency on goalkeepers with the ball at their feet has seen Ederson stand out amongst a fine collection of number ones, offering his side an additional option with his quality in possession.
Ederson formed part of the side that won the Premier League title with a record-breaking 100 points in 2017/18, before winning an unprecedented domestic treble the following season under Pep Guardiola.
Despite a runners-up finish in 2019/20 he won the division’s Golden Glove award and is the current front runner to retain the trophy, where he could become just the fourth goalkeeper – after Petr Cech, Pepe Reina and Joe Hart – to win multiple accolades.
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