Manchester United and their beastly goal-keepers: In this beautiful game where a layman enjoys the football ricocheting the back of the opposition’s net the most, the other aspects of the game often go unnoticed. One of the most underappreciated parts of the game has to be keeping the ball from going into the back of the net. The defensive structure of a team contributes the most in doing so but if that fails, the goalkeeper becomes the last line of defence.
Thus, goalkeeping can be a very ungrateful job. On their days, they get praised the least but on their off days, they receive the most hatred. Probably, that’s why very few kids dream of becoming a goalkeeper in their careers. The ones who eventually become one, face the challenges head-on and push through those.
To build a great team, you need a great goalkeeper and it’s no secret. So, at the base of a team’s roster lies the recruitment of a proper goalkeeper who is a fit to the system and also a good shot-stopper at the same time. Manchester United over the years has been praised for being one of the front runners when it comes to recruiting a goalkeeper. Here are five Manchester United goalkeepers with the highest number of clean sheets in Premier League –
#1 Edwin van der Sar and Tim Howard (132 clean sheets):
Both these club legends have 132 Premier League clean sheets under their name. Edwin van der Sar reached this feat in fewer games than Tim Howard. In his six seasons at Manchester United, he kept 90 clean sheets in 186 league appearances. Except for Manchester United, he had also represented Fulham for four seasons and kept 42 clean sheets for them. In his overall Premier League career, he was able to register clean sheets at a staggering 42.17% rate.
18/02 – On this day in 2009, Edwin van der Sar kept his 14th consecutive Premier League clean sheet, a record for a goalkeeper in the competition. Wall. pic.twitter.com/Yu86f3w5wZ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 18, 2020Advertisement
Tim Howard registered 132 clean sheets in 399 Premier League appearances at an impressive 33.08%rate. Although he kept 116 of those 132 while playing for Everton, his contribution for Manchester United in the 2003/04 season is to date underappreciated.
#2 Peter Schmeichel (128 clean sheets):
Peter Schmeichel’s journey as a footballer has aspired many around the globe. He was one of the most important footballers to contribute to Manchester United’s rise in the 1990s. He kept 112 Premier League clean sheets for Manchester United and helped them win five Premier League titles along with the UEFA Champions League in 1999. Overall, he kept 128 clean sheets in 310 appearances and registered a clean sheet percentage rate of 41.29% in the Premier League.
20 – Peter Schmeichel became the first goalkeeper to record 20 clean sheets in a Premier League season, a total that wouldn’t be broken until 2004-05 by Petr Cech (24). Wall. #OptaPLSeasons pic.twitter.com/CV7OD4026b
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 25, 2020
#3 David de Gea (126 clean sheets):
David de Gea is the only Manchester United player on the list to keep all his clean sheets in Premier League while playing for them. Till now, in 358 appearances, he has kept 126 clean sheets at a clean sheet percentage rate of 35.20%. The beginning of his journey at the club was not smooth. After making his move from Atletico Madrid, he initially struggled to fit in and catch up to the tempo of the league but since then, he has single-handedly kept his team in a respectable position on many occasions.
David De Gea gets his 18th clean sheet of the season — claiming his first Premier League Golden Glove! pic.twitter.com/BO46Urk0tO
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 10, 2018Advertisement
#4 Ben Foster (88 clean sheets):
A Premier League icon Ben Foster made his move to Manchester United back in 2005 but his stint at the club ended after only 12 appearances in five seasons and numerous loan moves. He kept the majority of his 88 Premier League clean sheets while playing for West Bromwich Albion. Currently, he is playing for Watford and till now, his clean sheet record has required him to start 372 matches and register clean sheets at a percentage rate of 23.66%.
#5 Mark Bosnich (74 clean sheets):
Similar to Foster, Mark Bosnich too had to leave Manchester United to get his opportunities. He arrived at the club as a teenager but failed to break into the team at that young age. So, he left the club in 1991 to get more minutes. He came back to the club in 1999 to play for them as a backup goalkeeper for two seasons. Overall, in the 206 Premier League games,, he has kept 74 clean sheets at a percentage rate of 35.92%.