Goalkeepers are a crucial part of any side as the last line of the defence, often required to bail their sides out in moments of need.
The presence of a leading shot-stopper can make all the difference between winning and losing, winning several points throughout a campaign with superb saves and moments of gravity-defying agility.
We’ve decided to look at some of leading goalkeepers on the continent so far this season, ranking each of the five goalkeepers with the best save percentage in Europe’s top five leagues:
5. Edouard Mendy – 75% (Chelsea/Premier League)
The opening weeks of the Premier League season have seen the goals flow across the division, with clean sheets at a premium in a pulsating start to the campaign.
One goalkeeper who has thrived amid the goal-rush, however, has been Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, who arrived as a relatively unheralded signing amongst the west Londoner’s huge summer of investment.
The Senegal international has swiftly emerged as a shrewd acquisition and has kept 10 clean sheets in just 12 fixtures for club and country since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, whilst his 75% save percentage is the highest of any goalkeeper in the Premier League.
His huge frame and assured presence has been a key factor in Chelsea’s recent defensive improvement under Frank Lampard, with five clean sheets in their past six fixtures in all competitions.
4. Jiri Pavelenka – 78.6% (Werder Bremen/Bundesliga)
Sitting top of the Bundesliga’s rankings is Werder Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka, who has saved 78.6% of the shots he has faced so far this season.
Pavlenka’s impressive record comes despite playing in a Bremen side that have won just twice in their opening seven league fixtures, keeping just one clean sheet in that time.
The Czech Republic international has, however, helped Bremen to a five-game unbeaten run in recent weeks, including drawing their past four league fixtures in succession.
3. Marco Silvestri – 88.2% (Hellas Verona/Serie A)
Hellas Verona are the surprise side currently in possession of Italian football’s best defensive record, having conceded just five league goals over the opening weeks of the season.
Key to that record has been the performances of goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, who has compiled a hugely impressive save percentage of 88.2% after seven league fixtures.
Silvestri’s record is more impressive when analysing Verona’s xGA statistics, their 12.98 expected goals against the fourth-highest figure in Serie A, their former Leeds United goalkeeper defying the data with his heroic performances in goal.
2. Keylor Navas – 94.1% (Paris Saint-Germain/Ligue 1)
Another goalkeeper contributing greatly towards his side making a mockery of their xGA rating, Keylor Navas has been in fine form for perennial French champions Paris Saint-Germain this season.
The Costa Rica international perhaps remains underrated despite a career that has seen him win league titles in both Spain and France in addition to three Champions League trophies, though he remains an important figure in a PSG side seeking further honours this season.
Navas has compiled a staggering 94.1% save percentage so far this season, conceding just three league goals in 10 fixtures despite an xGA of 9.4 goals.
His performances have helped PSG take an early lead in the title race, Thomas Tuchel’s side currently five points clear of second-placed Lille as they seek an eighth title in just nine seasons.
1. Jan Oblak – 96% (Atletico Madrid/La Liga)
Is there a better goalkeeper in world football than Jan Oblak?
The Atletico Madrid shot-stopper has regularly made the impossible a reality during his six seasons in the Spanish capital, frustrating opposition attackers with jaw-dropping moments of athleticism.
The Slovenia international is a formidable goalkeeping presence and has once again starred for Atleti over the opening weeks of the campaign, compiling a mind-boggling 96% save percentage as Diego Simeone’s side have made an unbeaten start to the season.
Seven league fixtures have seen just two goals conceded by the 27-year-old despite making the fourth-most saves in the division, Oblak arguably the best in the business amongst the world’s greatest goalkeepers.