Thursday, January 21, 2021

Alisson, Ederson, De Gea or Kepa who is the Premier League’s top goalkeeper this season?

Alisson and Kepa in their debut season have reinvigorated the goalkeeper position.

With eight games to go, there’s still a debate going on who’s the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Liverpool’s Alisson is currently the favourite to win the Golden Glove this season.Irrespective of who secures the award come May, questions will still remain over who is the Premier League’s chief shot-stopper. The position has been locked down for a number of seasons by Manchester United’s formidable keeper David De Gea, however there has been an enormous investment on keepers by the Premier League’s top sides in recent seasons.City parted with £35m to bring in Ederson last season as Pep Guardiola sourced a keeper capable of implementing his ball playing style. Meanwhile Liverpool splashed out over £60m in their bid to secure an elite shot stopper between the sticks.Chelsea break the record set by Liverpool several weeks earlier as they paid the highest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper in the sum of £71.6m for Kepa.

The arrivals of Alisson and Kepa this season, along with Ederson in the last, has cast doubt over the validity of De Gea’s Premier League top spot. But these stats will depict who is Premier League’s chief shot-stopper.

Who conceded more or less than expected?

Initially looking at Expected Goals Conceded (xGC) – which is a metric that assesses the likelihood that a shot would lead to a goal based on numerous factors such as shot distance and quality of the assist provided – we can see Alisson has an xGC total of 24.86 for this season. This would suggest he should have conceded around 25 goals this campaign. However, he has in fact conceded just 18 goals, demonstrating he has outperformed his xGC total by 6.86. In simple terms, he is allowing fewer goals past him than would be expected. Ederson ranks second in the group, conceding 1.84 goals less than he should have given the shots he has faced. This betters De Gea’s total slightly with the Spaniard conceding 1.75 goals fewer than expected.

Meanwhile for Kepa, he had an xGC total of 31.48 in the league this season. However, notably in that time he conceded 33 goals. He is therefore the only keeper on the list to be underperforming against their xGC season total.

Who is the best shot-stopper?

Each side’s relative dominance means they aren’t often called into action, but again Alisson tops the table in terms of the best save percentage of the group with 77.5%. Notably both Brazilian keepers play behind formidable defences that allow the opposition few shots on goal, with both Liverpool and Manchester City conceding an average of just over two shots per 90 minutes. De Gea performs well in this department, ranking second behind Alisson with a save percentage with 72.6 per cent. Again Kepa ranks last of the group with a 67.33 per cent save percentage.

Who is the most reliable?

When it comes to commanding their 18-yard-box, Ederson leads the way in opting to leave his line on a more regular basis. When facing a cross into the box or closing an attacker down, he averages 1.06 exits per 90 minutes which is better than the rest of the group. He is ahead in terms of his success in aerial duels too, posting a 92.31 per cent success rate against the opposition. Both De Gea and Kepa have impressively won 100 per cent of all their aerial duels this season. This department is the one in which Alisson has struggled somewhat. He not only makes the fewest exits per 90 minutes, but he also has the lowest success rate in terms of aerial duels at 80 per cent.

Who won it?

Judging by the above data, it would seem Liverpool can be immensely proud of their keeper this season – and delighted with their summer purchase. With seven games remaining, he looks like a shoe-in to secure the Golden Glove award in May. There is no denying the award would be richly deserved, and he may even be able to boast the crown of the league’s new no.1 too.

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