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Football all across Europe has witnessed some truly incredible moments since returning after a brief break, with the English top-flight proving particularly unpredictable.
And in line with results on the pitch, this season’s clean sheets statistics are undoubtedly upsetting the status quo, with Wolves’ Rui Patricio leading the way on four. He’s followed by Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez, Southampton’s Alex McCarthy and Chelsea new-boy Edouard Mendy with three.
They do, however, have a long, long way to go if they are to ever go down in history as some of the competition’s greatest ever goalkeepers, with many of the all-time best judged on their ability to keep a clean sheet.
We take a look at the 10 goalkeepers who boast the most clean sheets in Premier League history.
1. Petr Cech – 202
The Chelsea legend is still at the club as their technical and performance adviser, but Blues fans will know him best for his stunning displays between the sticks. Petr Cech is the Premier League’s all-time clean sheets holder with 202 from his 443 appearances across both north and west London.
Current shot-stopper Mendy may never quite reach the heights that Cech did, but he has gotten off to the perfect start, with six clean sheets in his first seven appearances for the club. Both players joined Chelsea from French side Rennes.
2. David James – 169
Perhaps the goalkeeper’s wacky hairstyles dominated much of the talk around him, but let’s not forget just how good James was at every single club he went to. The youngster burst onto the top-flight scene with Liverpool, before hugely successful spells at both Aston Villa and West Ham.
Manchester City and Portsmouth then shared his talents in his later years, with James also proving a valuable asset to the England national team throughout various major tournaments. He once held the record for the most Premier League clean sheets until Cech came and quite simply blew him and everyone else out of the water.
3. Mark Schwarzer – 151
Australian Schwarzer is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers that English football has ever seen. The Middlesbrough legend endeared himself to fans at the Riverside with his sensational displays in the box.
Chelsea and Leicester then made use of his services towards the end of his career, with the Australian national team getting a phenomenal 109 caps out of their former number one.
4. David Seaman – 141
Seaman is another to go down in history for his world-renowned hairstyle, but fortunately he is another whose displays made sure his appearance wasn’t the only thing that caught the eye. The Premier League legend has gone down in Arsenal folklore for his split-second reactions between the posts.
He spent 13 years with the Gunners, lifting multiple honours including two Premier League titles and four FA Cups, as well as the First Division title back in 1991. His performances weren’t solely kept for club football, with Seaman England’s second-most capped goalkeeper after Peter Shilton.
5. Nigel Martyn – 137
Martyn was largely kept out of the England national setup thanks to Seaman, but it didn’t stop the former Leeds and Everton man from racking up the clean sheets at club level. Crystal Palace were also fortunate enough to have Martyn within their ranks once upon a time.
The shot-stopper ended his career with 137 clean sheets from 372 appearances, where he picked up 154 wins along the way. An unfortunate ankle injury brought a premature end to a sensational career.
6. Pepe Reina – 136
Liverpool fans will remember Reina’s time at Anfield fondly, with the Spaniard becoming a regular between the sticks under compatriot Rafael Benitez. He has since gone on to play for several top European clubs, including Napoli, Bayern Munich and AC Milan.
Reina made a brief return to the Premier League with Aston Villa at the turn of the year, adding two clean sheets to his already impressive tally as the club managed to stave off relegation on the final day of the season. He’s still going strong at the age of 38 for Serie A side Lazio.
7. Brad Friedel – 132
Friedel spent time with both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, but he will undoubtedly be remembered most fondly for his days at Blackburn Rovers and indeed Aston Villa. Statistics show he made 771 saves across 450 appearances in the top-flight, certainly no mean feat.
He also picked up 82 appearances for the US national team, proving just how highly-respected and talented he really was. To further stamp his authority as one of the greatest ever, Freidel is the current record holder for the most consecutive Premier League apps with 310.
8. Tim Howard – 132
Freidel’s fellow American Howard was another mainstay in the top-flight, and was very much his heir in the national team setup, going on to make 121 appearances. His sensational performances at club level were saved for Everton though, having started out at Manchester United in 2003.
Incredibly, his career at the Toffees started out with a mere loan move after frustration at being left out at Old Trafford. But that temporary deal quickly became permanent and the rest, as they say, is history.
9. Edwin van der Sar – 132
Howard can certainly be forgiven for seeking a permanent way out of Manchester, given that the club’s first choice goalkeeper was none other than the Dutch legend Van der Sar. He already had a Champions League, UEFA Cup and four Eredivisie titles under his belt with Ajax by the time he moved to England with Fulham in 2001.
The newly-promoted side held onto the giant for four seasons before his switch to Man United, where he clinched four league titles and another Champions League trophy. The keeper also achieved a record 14 consecutive clean sheets somewhere along the way.
10. Peter Schmeichel – 128
Another Man United legend, and one whose eye-catching displays were crucial to Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominant reign in England for so many years. The goalkeeper’s reputation was slightly tarnished in the eyes of many Red Devils supporters when he made the switch to fierce rivals Manchester City.
But in typical Schmeichel style, a victory and draw in his Manchester derby appearances in blue ensured he retired unbeaten in the fixture throughout his entire career. Peter’s son Kasper is doing his utmost to follow in his father’s footsteps, having already secured 66 clean sheets with current club Leicester.