Who is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League? Thibaut Courtois conceded fewer goals than any other stopper in the competition, but does that mean that he is the best or is it just that Chelsea’s defence is exceptional?
There are several metrics we could use to assess the performance of a stopper. The percentage of shots saved, the number of clean sheets, how many minutes it takes to score and the goals allowed per game.
Different indicators show different results. If we consider the percentage of shots saved, Sunderland’s ‘keeper, Costel Pantilimon, gets the highest score. He only played the last 11 games because the main goalkeeper at the beginning of the season was Vito Mannone. Given that Mannone only stopped 68% of the shots and Pantilimon 80%, clearly it was a change for the better.
Pantilimon and Fraser Forster (Southampton) share the lead for the percentage of clean sheets. In 45% of their games, they finished unbeaten.
But, if we take a look to other metrics, particularly those that refer to the number of goals conceded, the results differ. Fraser Forster is the keeper with the most number of minutes between goals. It takes 120 minutes to beat him. He is followed by Joe Hart from Manchester City (108 minutes) and David De Gea from Manchester United (90 minutes). Pantilimon is some distance from that as he concedes a goal every 76 minutes.
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