5 – Tom Heaton – Burnley FC
The fifth best keeper on the list is the 31-year-old who plays between the sticks for Burnley FC. The Englishman is not only the club captain, but was also voted the club’s Player of the Year for the 2016/2017 season. Heaton made 35 appearances for Burnley in the league, earning 11 wins (10 of those wins clean sheets) and guiding the club to a 16th place finish and avoiding relegation in the club’s first season in the Premier League. Making 141 saves, including a penalty save, it’s hard to overstate just how important Heaton was to Burnley’s relative success. With such a shaky defense, the club relied on him heavily in many games throughout the season. His close-range saves, quick reactions, and consistency have wowed many across the league. Heaton has since been called up to the England squad, making three appearances in the past two years. Although Burnley may be a lower-table team, they’ve got one of the best keepers in the league in Tom Heaton.
4 – Petr Cech – Arsenal FC
For about a decade, Cech was at (or near) the top of this list looking absolutely unstoppable for Chelsea. Since joining Arsenal in 2015, very little has changed besides the color of his shirt. The 35-year-old came in 5th in the Golden Glove standings this past season, earning 12 clean sheets in 22 wins. Not only has Cech been a mainstay in the Premier League, he has been the starting keeper for the Czech Republic for around fourteen years. This is due not only to his incredible shot stopping ability, but also his leadership and decision-making. There is not doubt that Cech is one of the most intelligent footballers in the league, and it shows through how he is able to play at the highest level even as he continues to age. Arsenal may have finished 5th in the 2016/2017 season, but they have top four ambitions and, with Champions League winner Petr Cech minding the net, it’s possible they reach their goals.
3 – Hugo Lloris – Tottenham
Tottenham man Hugo Lloris comes in at number three in our pre-season ranking. The Frenchman is one of the most electrifying keepers not only in the Premier League, but in the world. His cat-like acrobatics and shot stopping ability are some of the best in any league. Unfortunately, his side has just missed out on the league title in recent years, ending in 3rd and 2nd respectively, but guiding Spurs to Champions League football was no easy task. The Frenchman had impressive stats this past season: 24 wins, only 4 losses, and 15 clean sheets (missing out on the Golden Glove by just a single match). Lloris has enjoyed international success as well, playing with France for nearly a decade. The 30-year-old is one of the best pure shot-stoppers in the league, and would likely be higher on the list if not for shaky decision making and questionable play with his feet. Regardless, look for Lloris to continue his great form going into the 2017/2018 season.
2 – Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea FC
The 2016/2017 Premier League winner just misses out on the top spot coming into the next season. Thibaut Courtois, the youngest of the keepers on this list at only 25, has been a force since returning to Chelsea from loan in 2014. Along with his league winner medal, the Belgian also won the Golden Glove with 16 clean sheets in 29 wins. Since joining Chelsea around seven years ago, Courtois has made quite an impact at the international level as well, becoming the youngest keeper to ever represent Belgium and a mainstay in the lineup. Courtois has already won two Premier League titles, a Golden Glove, and much more but continues to improve year after year. Known to single-handedly win points for Chelsea, his shot stopping, positioning, and intelligence puts him at number 2 on this list. An argument can be made that he is in the top 3 keepers in the entire world right now. He hopes to lead Chelsea to yet another Premier League title and European success in the coming season. In addition, it seems there is a young golden age beginning for the Belgian national team, so it will be interesting to see how he makes an impact internationally. The sky is the limit for this big beanpole of a keeper – for both club and country.
1 – David De Gea – Manchester United
It’s no easy task to replace a legendary keeper, but David de Gea has managed to do it twice. For Manchester United, De Gea followed Edwin van der Sar. For Spain, he followed Iker Casillas. I don’t think you’ll be able to find many who are disappointed with these transitions. Although he has yet to win a Premier League Golden Glove, the 26-year-old has established himself as one of the best keepers in world football. Even with such a star-studded lineup as United has – with the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Anthony Martial – De Gea has arguably been the most important player for the past few years (winning club Player of the Year for three years straight). In 200 league appearances, De Gea has kept 75 clean sheets, including 14 in this past season. He is one of the best all-around keepers in the world: his reflexes, high-profile saves, and calm authority are almost unmatched. They have had to fend off interest from Real Madrid, but it seems De Gea is here to stay – and United should thank their lucky stars for that because it’s hard to imagine where the club would be without him.
The Premier League has one of the strongest crop of keepers in the world and it’ll be a joy to watch them go to battle this season. For more on the Premier League, keep your eye on the line and stay with Offside Football.