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Golden Glove race: How the contenders compare

Adrian Clarke 30 Mar 2022

Which ‘keeper will claim the most clean sheets? Adrian Clarke looks at why the top rivals lead the way

Adrian Clarke analyses the battle for the coveted 2021/22 Premier League Golden Glove Award, presented by Castrol.

Ederson (MCI) – 16 clean sheets

The Manchester City goalkeeper is extremely well protected as the last line of defence.

Partly due to his side’s monopoly of possession, Ederson faces only 6.5 shots per 90 minutes the fewest of any top-flight goalkeeper.

He has been asked to make fewer than two saves a match on average.

When you compare this relative inactivity with David De Gea at Manchester United, it makes for interesting reading. De Gea faces 13.6 shots per match, producing 3.6 saves per 90 minutes. 

Ederson has nonetheless remained excellent when called upon, showing wonderful athleticism.

He also retains his position as the division’s most precise distributor, with his pass accuracy of 88.7 per cent being the envy of most outfield players.

Goalkeeper Pass accuracy
Ederson (MCI) 88.7%
Alisson (LIV) 85.3%
Mendy (CHE) 80.1%
Guaita (CRY) 76.8%
Lloris (TOT) 76.3%

Ederson's April fixtures
BUR (A), LIV (H), BHA (H), WAT (H), LEE (A)

Alisson (LIV) – 16 clean sheets

Another 'keeper who passes the ball well, it's Alisson's ability to produce instinctive reflex saves that shines brightest when assessing Liverpool’s No 1.

The way Alisson spontaneously stretched his right arm to deny Martin Odegaard in Liverpool’s 2-0 success at Arsenal typified his brilliance in key moments.

Stylistically, the Brazilian is also one of the most assertive inside his own box, coming out to make 18 punches, a league-high tally.

Goalkeeper Most punches
Alisson 18
Sa 16
Meslier 15
Pickford 14

Sweeping up behind the Liverpool back four also forms a key part of Alisson’s brief.

Jurgen Klopp’s pressing game means they leave a high defensive line, so his 'keeper's starting position is more advanced than most.

Alisson has made 21 sweeper 'keeper clearances this season, second only to Jose Sa.

Alisson's April fixtures
WAT (H), MCI (A), MUN (H), EVE (H), NEW (A)

Aaron Ramsdale (ARS) – 12 clean sheets

Since arriving from Sheffield United last summer, the 23-year-old has made a big impression as an Arsenal player.

Making a series of eye-catching saves across the campaign, he has proved himself to be one of the most agile 'keepers in the country.

Sa and Edouard Mendy are the only men with a better save percentage than Ramsdale.

He is also a confident passer of the ball, starting attacks with aplomb. His ability to ping a low pass into central midfield, or to drive the ball into a centre-forward’s feet, marks him out as one of the best in the business in this department.

The Man City and Liverpool 'keepers are the only ones to have been involved in more shot-ending moves than Ramsdale.

Player Shot-ending sequence involvement Per 90
Ederson 49 1.8
Alisson 37 1.4
Ramsdale 26 1.1
Mendy 25 1.0
Sanchez 29 1.0

His bubbly persona has also helped him bond with Arsenal fans. As a character and footballer, Ramsdale is hugely popular in the red half of north London.

Arsenal have undoubtedly improved as a side with him between the sticks.

Ramsdale's April fixtures
CRY (A), BHA (H), SOU (A), CHE (A), MUN (H)

Jose Sa (WOL) – 11 clean sheets

Sa has been Wolverhampton Wanderers’ standout player this season, and there is a strong argument to suggest he has also been the Premier League’s best-performing goalkeeper.

Wolves should have conceded an extra 8.7 goals according to the xGOT (Expected Goals On Target) metric for goals prevented, which outlines the quality and difficulty of the saves he has made.

In almost all the major categories he is placed inside the top three, which is an incredible achievement for a player with no Premier League experience before this campaign.

Sa 2021/22 Total PL ranking
Save % 79.2 1st
Saves in box % 76.0 1st
Keeper sweepings 28 1st
Goals prevented 8.7 1st
Punches 16 2nd
Saves 99 3rd
Catches 29 3rd

The Portugal international is also decisive in his decision-making, making his mind up early to come off his line to catch or clear the ball.

He is quick to close down attackers’ space when narrowing the angle, and is also speedy when racing outside his penalty area to sweep up attacks.

With a lot of ground to make up, Sa is unlikely to claim enough clean sheets to land the Golden Glove but he has enjoyed an exceptional season.

Sa's April fixtures
AVL (H), NEW (A), BUR (A), BHA (H)

Also in this series

Part 1: Golden Boot race: How the contenders compare
Part 2: Playmaker Award: How the contenders compare

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