Who is the best goalkeeper in the premierleague during the 2017/18 season? Which yardstick can be acceptable to many to determine the best goalkeeper ? There have been a lot of uproar concerning who or who shouldn’t be in the premierleague team of the season. SD takes a look at some of the criteria that can help get to a logical conclusion
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PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON
When the Premier league team of the year was released, it featured Manchester City star Defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker, midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, and striker Sergio Aguero. It also included Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. Some legends of the game, pundits and fans alike took exception to the fact that Manchester United’s goalkeeper De Gea was named in the team of the year ahead of Manchester city’s title winning goalkeeper – Ederson.
Some went further to emphasize that Ederson not only won the title with Manchester city but had an outstanding first season after joining the Pep revolution from Benfica in Portugal.
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The choice of De Gea in the Premier league team of the season simply indicates that he was ahead of his peers during the entire 2017/18 season. The issue has really divided opinions but ultimately what is the yardstick to know who performed over and above the others?
IMPACT ON THE TEAM
Ederson, Manchester City’s Brazilian goaltender has enjoyed a fine first campaign in the Manchester City goal. His unique saves and ability to pass the ball out of defence has been a feature of the team’s play but it must be said that the heart of Manchester City’s title success has been their midfield, where De Bruyne and Silva called the shots. De Gea on the other hand has been the lifeline of his team and for a keeper to have been voted Manchester United’s player of the season for 4 consecutive years show how invaluable he has been to the team. Without De Gea’s heroics, United would have been further down the table in all the seasons he has been with them and especially the season in question where he has been outstanding and helped his team cement second spot; their best point tally and final position on the table since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
CLEAN SHEETS – DEGEA 18, EDERSON 14
It’s a well-known fact that the most popular metric for measuring a goalkeeper’s success is “clean sheets”. So it is a yardstick we will examine here, though as much as not letting your opposition score is important, it can’t be the ultimate indicator of a goalkeeper’s ability.
Overall, De Gea had 18 clean sheets in the outgone season while Ederson had 14. Ordinarily, with the possession and dominance-style of play of Manchester City and the number of wins they garnered during the season, it is expected that Ederson would face fewer shots and make less saves thereby should have had better clean sheets.
A slightly more accurate statistic would be factoring in the number of games each player played during the season viz-a-viz the goals conceded. De Gea played and started 37 games, one more than Ederson (36) but the Spaniard conceded 28 goals, 2 more than the Brazilian Ederson (26).
SAVES – DEGEA 115, EDERSON 54
The most objective indicator of goalkeeper performance could be saves per goal. This eliminates the two biases for shots per goal (– shots on target and overall shot against a team), as the goalkeeper has to save the ball and prevent it from going into his net. David had 144 shots on Goal (shots on target) and 430 (Shots in total) with a massive 115 saves throughout the season while Ederson on the other hand 79 shots on Goal (shots on target against him) and 220 shots (shots in total) with 54 saves.
Looking at the statistics and accolades, it’s not a given that if and when a team wins a trophy, the goalkeeper of the team automatically gets to win best goalie award. It all boils down to his contribution to the team and overall impact on the team throughout the season. With the number of times De Gea saved his team this season and was preferred above his peers in the team of the season nomination, we can say that for the 2017/18 season De Gea fared better than Ederson.
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