Goalkeeping was a hot topic in the 2016-17 Premier League season with many number ones being scrutinized for their lackluster performances in addition to many hitting the limelight and stardom as well. So with the season now all over it is time to take a look at which five goalkeepers made the greatest impact for their teams and which one’s were practically detriments to their side.
Why Saves Per Goal?
Saves per goal is the best way to look at how successful a goalkeeper has been over a given period of time. Other statistics like number of clean sheets, total saves or average goals conceded per game may actually be strongly affected by how strong or weak the defense in front of the keeper performs. Saves per goal on the other hand looks only at how goalkeepers have responded when they’ve been called upon and virtually does not leave anything else open to interpretation. For example, a goalkeeper at a team fighting for relegation will obviously face more shots per game than the average Premier League goalkeeper, but if they are up to the task, they should still manage to save far more shots than they let in; for example Jordan Pickford. Similarly, a goalkeeper playing for one of the league’s elite clubs may face comparatively far less shots but if they are up to the task, should still be saving the vast majority of them; for example Hugo Lloris. So without further ado let’s get to it! These are the five best and five worst goalkeepers in the Premier League this season by saves per goal of goalkeepers to make 10 or more appearances. To check out who made the list halfway through the season, click here!
THE 5 WORST
5. Darren Randolph – 1.41 saves per goal
A bit of a surprising one, Darren Randolph is the fifth worst goalkeeper of the 2016-17 season based on number of saves per goal conceded. Randolph actually had a very decent first half of the season, but when that second half began with the departure of Dimitri Payet, West Ham and Darren Randolph weren’t the same and started to slump back down the table. Slavan Bilic must have also been aware of the stats as Adrian, who has made 2.00 saves per goal this season, came back into the side towards the end of the season.
4. Fraser Forster – 1.30 saves per goal
This has certainly been a season to forget for Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Although he hasn’t been scrutinized to the same extent as anyone listed below, he really has not had his best season and at times proved to be more of a detriment to the Saints than a necessary component to Puel’s team. Although 13 clean sheets from 36 matches is actually a decent tally, he hasn’t been anywhere good enough when called upon this season and many of his clean sheets seem to be as a result of Puel’s organized defence sitting in front of him. His position will in no way be up for grabs next season and he’ll still be a certain starter, but the statistics would almost suggest that that shouldn’t be the case.
3. David Marshall – 1.20 saves per goal
David Marshall has been dreadful this season and his inclusion in Hull’s setup when Mike Phelan was in charge was a very strange one given that when Eldin Jakupovic was in the side at the start of the season, the Tigers were flourishing. has been a strange one given that when Eldin Jakupovic was in the side, the Tigers were flourishing, losing just one of their opening 4 matches. Marco Silva was quick to recognize this when he came to the club, immediately banishing Marshall to the bench and reinstating Jakupovic back into the side in his place. After Phelan left the club, Marshall only made four more appearances and all he did in that time was worsen his saves per goal ratio from 1.25 down to 1.2, including a shocking final day 7-1 defeat to Totteham Hotspur.
2. Loris Karius – 1.17 saves per goal
Simon Mignolet had a torrid time to start the season, conceding the first five shots that he faced this season. So when Loris Karius recovered from a broken hand his return to the side seemed to be a welcomed one. However, Karius came under an incredible amount of scrutiny for his lackluster displays and was forced back to the bench after making just 10 appearances. Even though I believe the German goalkeeper will come good again and just needs time to develop, the stats don’t lie and it is really hard to argue a case for the former Mainz man. Karius only conceded 12 goals in his 10 matches this season which isn’t that bad, but when you realize he’s only saved two more than he’s conceded, it gets very bad for him again. Making just 14 saves to 12 goals conceded gives him an average save per goal score of 1.17, the second lowest in the league of goalkeepers to make 10 or more appearances, justifying Jurgen Klopp’s decision to leave him out of the side in the previous two matches.
1. Claudio Bravo – 1.08 saves per goal
The goalkeeper to receive the most amount of criticism this season in Claudio Bravo is also the goalkeeper who is statistically the worst in the entire league for 2016-17. Pep Guardiola might just have pulled off one of the worst signings in the history of the league with Bravo and also made one of the gravest mistakes in loaning Joe Hart to Torino in Bravo’s place. The Chilean keeper made just 1.08 saves per goal that he conceded, making him the worst by quite some distance. He conceded 26 goals and only made 27 saves, making this an absolute nightmare of a season for Bravo and the man who brought him to Manchester in Pep Guardiola.
THE 5 BEST
5. Jordan Pickford – 2.20 saves per goal
The man who became one of The Mastermind‘s favourite goalkeepers in the world this season, Jordan Pickford has just had an incredible breakthrough season to remember. Sunderland were relegated after picking up just 24 points, but Pickford hardly had a bad game and was Moyes’ key man throughout the season. He really just did all he could this season, something that can’t be said of any other Sunderland player. After his impeccable displays in goal, Pickford looks destined to pick up a first England cap very soon on top of a big money move to one of the league’s top clubs.
4. Kasper Schmeichel – 2.30 saves per goal
Despite Leicester City’s struggles in 2016-17 for the first half of the season, Schmeichel didn’t suffer one bit and was by far their standout player. After Craig Shakespeare came into the fold, he only carried over his good form and finishes just where he left off halfway through the season, in fourth place on this list. The Foxes missed him so much at the start of the season when Ron-Robert Zieler had to play instead and his role in the side from his leadership to his ability to pull off some of the most ridiculous saves you’d ever see cannot be understated. Kasper Schmeichel is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and absolutely deserves his high ranking on this list.
3. Lee Grant – 2.42 saves per goal
If Jack Butland had never gotten injured, Lee Grant may have never become a Premier League goalkeeper. But to his amazement, Grant is now a household name in the league and was quite unfortunate to lose his place in the side when Butland made his inevitable return. The former Derby County man was sensational for Stoke this season, making 2.42 saves per goal conceded and really impressing with some of the best goalkeeping displays of 2016-17.
2. Petr Cech – 2.60 saves per goal
A bit of a surprise name on this list, many consider this to be Petr Cech’s worst ever season in the Premier League. Yet without receiving any recognition at all for his play, Cech comes in at number two in terms of saves per goal, ahead of the likes of Thibaut Courtois, David De Gea and Tom Heaton. The Arsenal man might not even be a starting goalkeeper next season due to not really having any particularly amazing single-match performance in 2016-17, but the statistics behind his name would suggest that he’s actually had a decent season at least and has been a whole lot better than people think.
1. Hugo Lloris – 2.78 saves per goal
After a bit of a surprising number two finisher, this is no surprise at all. Many people consider Hugo Lloris to be this season’s standout goalkeeper and it is really hard to argue with that notion when his saves per goal ratio is so much higher than any other in the keeper in the Premier League. Lloris often goes unnoticed for Tottenham because of how good the defence in front of him is but truthfully whenever he is called upon, he is always up to the task. 2.78 saves per goal is an absolutely unreal ratio and it is shocking that the Spurs man did not make the PFA Team of the Year.
So there it is! The five best and worst goalkeepers based on saves per goal of the 2016-17 Premier League season. Like what you read? Comment below to share your thoughts or click the follow button below to get more articles like this delivered right to your inbox. See you next time!
PS make sure to check out where the goalkeepers ranked at the halfway point in the 2016-17 season right here!