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Talking Tactics

Standout players of 2018/19: Lukasz Fabianski

Adrian Clarke 13 Oct 2018
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Adrian Clarke picks the West Ham goalkeeper as one of six players who have impressed so far this season

Adrian Clarke selects the players who have caught his eye in 2018/19 so far. 

Lukasz Fabianski (WHU)

One of the shining lights during West Ham United’s challenging start to 2018/19 has been the consistent excellence of Fabianski.

The summer signing from Swansea City has had to deal with 48 shots on target across the first eight matches.

Playing behind a freshly constructed back four that has at times featured three other summer recruits in Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Ryan Fredericks, it has not been the easiest start to the Polish goalkeeper’s Hammers career.

However, while building those new relationships Fabianski has been in inspired form. His 36 saves are more than any other Premier League 'keeper.

Fabianski at West Ham
  Total PL rank
Saves 36 1
Saves of shots in box 22 2=
Punches 5 3=
High claims 6 3=
Courage under fire

Sharp reflexes and athleticism have always been Fabianski's strong suits, and this aspect of his play has shone brightly for the east London club.

Fabianski has been called upon to make a string of spectacular stops, which have quickly endeared him to the Hammers faithful.

The 33-year-old has made a habit of rushing out quickly to make close-range blocks to deny opposition strikers.

The game-changing save he made with his face to deny Alvaro Morata in the recent goalless draw with Chelsea was a fine example of his courage.

Right-hand man

But it is Fabianski's outstanding right-handed saves that have marked him out as one of the division’s in-form goalkeepers.

He has swooped low to his right to superbly deny Marouane Fellaini, Aaron Ramsey and the AFC Bournemouth pair of Callum Wilson and David Brooks.

Fabianski was equally brilliant when moving high to his right to deny Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold a superb goal from a direct free-kick at Anfield. The Pole also showed great dexterity when flinging himself to his left to thwart Chelsea’s Ross Barkley.

His early-season highlights reel is absolutely outstanding.

Saving 73.5 per cent of the efforts that have come his way, if he can maintain this level of reliability he will undoubtedly help Manuel Pellegrini's men pick up unexpected points across the season.

Also in this series

Part 2: Standout players of 2018/19: Jose Holebas
Part 3: Standout players 2018/19: David Luiz
Part 4: Standout players of 2018/19: Lucas Torreira
Part 5: Standout players 2018/19: Bernardo Silva

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