Goalkeepers can really make or break a season, so it’s best to have good back-up. If you don’t believe me, ask Burnley. They now have 3 England international stoppers in their squad: Tom Heaton, Nick Pope and Joe Hart. This summer, Premier League clubs have spent big and small on new keepers. Here’s the pick of the bunch.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea - £71.6m
With their Number One Thibaut Courtois moving back to Madrid, Chelsea had to act fast. There was talk of Jack Butland but he doesn’t exactly scream ‘Top Four’. Instead, The Blues paid top dollar for the appropriately named Kepa, Spain’s Number Two. Real Madrid nearly signed the 23-year-old back in January for £18million but when the deal fell through, his release clause quadrupled to record levels. Kepa is a classic shot stopper in the Iker Casillas mould.
Alisson – Roma to Liverpool - £65m
Rejoice Liverpool fans, Loris Karius is no longer your first-choice keeper! Alisson didn’t come cheap but he’s one of the best goalkeepers on the planet. The Brazil coach, Tite, rates him more highly than Manchester City’s Ederson, and most Serie A fans would agree. Alisson is known as a calm, reliable presence between the posts. Liverpool’s centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren must be delighted.
Bernd Leno – Bayer Leverkusen to Arsenal - £19.2m
Whether it happens this season or next, the great Petr Čech is sadly on his way out at Arsenal. The arrival of Leno certainly suggests that it may happen sooner rather than later. The German international isn’t a young keeper for the future; he’s 26, with years of Bundesliga experience behind him. There’s no way Leno left Leverkusen to sit on the bench in London.
Łukasz Fabiański – Swansea City to West Ham - £7m
West Ham aren’t known for their shrewd signings, but this looks like excellent business. Since leaving Arsenal in 2014, Fabiański has become one of the Premier League’s most underrated goalkeepers. Last season at relegated Swansea, he made 137 saves, second only to Stoke City’s Jack Butland. At West Ham, Fabiański may well be just as busy.
Martin Dúbravka – Sparta Prague to Newcastle United - £4.5m
Dúbravka impressed last season during his loan spell at St James’ Park, and now he’s the permanent Number One. The Slovakian kept 4 cleansheets in 12 games, including a masterclass against Manchester United. Dúbravka might not be the sexy signing that Rafa Benítez was hoping for this summer, but he is a solid investment.
Vicente Guaita – Getafe to Crystal Palace – Free
How can I put this nicely? Wayne Hennessey is a goalkeeper who needs competition. He’ll certainly get that from Guaita. Last season at Getafe, he kept 13 cleansheets. Only Barcelona and Atlético Madrid conceded fewer goals than ‘The Deep Blues’. Guaita is 31 now, but on a free transfer, he’s an absolute steal.