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Keeping clean sheets in the Premier League is no easy feat. Not only are some of the best strikers in world football housed in English football, but the intensity and fitness of all those who play in the league is so high that goalscoring opportunities are frequent.
Over the years, some of the best goalkeepers in football history have played in the Premier League, including David Seaman and Edwin Van der Sar. But where do these two giants of the game sit on the list of Premier League goalkeepers who have kept the most clean sheets? Spoiler alert – neither of them have the most.
Let’s take a look at the ten goalkeepers who boast the most clean sheets in Premier League history.
T- 10. Tim Howard – 132
Tim Howard first came to the Premier League in 2003 when he signed for Manchester United. During a three-year spell at Old Trafford, the American stopper battled it out with Roy Carrol for the number one shirt at United before being shipped off to Everton on loan due to one mistake too many.
At Goodison Park, however, Howard found his home and he became a mainstay in David Moyes’ side. The American stopper stayed at Everton for ten years and was consistently one of the club’s top performers.
T-10. 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.
T-10. Edwin van der Sar – 132
Edwin Van der Sar already 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 which makes it all the more remarkable when you consider he then stayed in the Premier League for another ten years.
After showing he could cut it in the English top flight for four years, he was bought by Manchester United in 2006 and Sir Alex Ferguson finally had someone worthy of replacing Peter Schmeichel after seven years of hiccups. The big Dutchman won four league titles and another Champions League trophy at Old Trafford. He also holds the record for the most consecutive clean sheets (14).
7. 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 in 2020, adding two clean sheets to his already impressive tally as he helped the club avoid relegation on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
6. 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.
5. David Seaman – 141
David Seaman is regarded by many as the greatest English goalkeeper of all time and it’s easy to see why when you look back at his performances for Arsenal. The Premier League legend has gone down in 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.
4. David de Gea – 147
From an English David to a Spanish David and the only player on this list who is still playing in the Premier League. David de Gea came to England in 2011 to fill the enormous gloves left behind by Edwin Van der Sar at Manchester United and after a shaky start, he more than met expectations.
There has never been a goalkeeper in the Premier League with quicker reflexes than de Gea and his highlight reel contains saves that defy belief. The role of a goalkeeper is now as much about sweeping and distribution as it is saving shots which means de Gea could leave United this summer. If he does, then he will be remembered fondly by the Old Trafford faithful for years to come.
3. Mark Schwarzer – 152
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.
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.
1. Petr Cech – 202
Out in front by some distance is Petr Cech, the goalkeeper who Chelsea signed way back in 2004. The Czech shot-stopper was the perfect goalkeeper for his era – a giant between the sticks, commanding in the air and a superb organiser.
He was part of the Chelsea team that conceded just 15 goals in the 2004/05 Premier League season, a record that is likely to stand the test of time. He left Stamford Bridge in 2015 and enjoyed four more years at Arsenal, however, he never quite reached the same level again.
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