With Petr Cech poised to end his 11-year spell with Chelsea and sign for Premier League rivals Arsenal, what better time to establish just where the Czech stopper ranks in Premier League history?
Mark Jones gives us his top 10:
Only keepers with over 100 Premier League clean sheets were considered
10. David James – Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth
He may have been mocked and derided for some of his mistakes, but David James was still capable of some astonishingly adept saves and holds the record for both the number of appearances for any Premier League keeper (572) and the number of clean sheets (170).
9. Shay Given – Blackburn, Newcastle, Manchester City, Aston Villa
At his best, which was undoubtedly his time at Newcastle, the Irishman Shay Given was an elastic presence in goal, belying a seemingly short stature for a goalkeeper to pull off stunning save after stunning save and help the Magpies become a fixture in the top six.
8. Pepe Reina – Liverpool
Amongst the goalkeepers with over 100 Premier League clean sheets, only Cech has a better rate of keeping them per game than Pepe Reina, who looked every inch the prototype for the modern goalkeeper when Liverpool signed him from Villarreal in 2005. In addition, only Cech has kept more clean sheets for one club in the division than the Spaniard’s 134.
7. Nigel Martyn – Crystal Palace, Leeds, Everton
A somewhat underrated stopper who was unfortunate not to add to his 23 caps over a 10-year England career, Nigel Martyn was the reliable last line of defence in the Leeds team which came so close to glory before impressing in his later years with Everton.
6. Mark Schwarzer – Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester
Impressing when your team is perennially fighting near the middle or bottom of the table is often difficult for a goalkeeper, but the Australian Mark Schwarzer – a man who has always seemed to be a veteran – certainly did it. His 152 clean sheets is the third most in Premier League history.
5. Brad Friedel – Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham
Underused at Liverpool before flourishing at Blackburn and then becoming the steady older statesman at both Aston Villa and Tottenham, Brad Friedel was always considered a solid last line of defence and established himself as a Premier League great long before this summer’s retirement aged 44.
4. David Seaman – Arsenal, Manchester City
He made some high-profile errors, but neither Arsenal nor England would have been anywhere near as good as they were in the 1990s and early noughties if it wasn’t for David Seaman. The moustachioed shot-stopper kept 142 Premier League clean sheets, the fourth highest of all-time.
3. Edwin Van der Sar – Fulham, Manchester United
So tall was Edwin van der Sar (and presumably still is) that attacking players could often not see past him as they bore down on goal, where the impressive Dutchman was likely to make another world-class stop. Van der Sar holds the Premier League record for the most consecutive clean sheets thanks to his remarkable 14 shutouts for Manchester United between November 2008 and February 2009.
2. Petr Cech – Chelsea
Petr Cech’s 162 Premier League clean sheets for Chelsea give him an average of just under one every other game, a remarkable record for a goalkeeper and one that helped him win three Premier League titles before taking up a backseat role when Thibaut Courtois helped the Blues to 2014/15 success.
1. Peter Schmeichel – Manchester United, Aston Villa, Manchester City
There can be only one No. 1 No. 1, though, and that honour goes to the Great Dane Peter Schmeichel, who cut such an intimidating figure between the sticks that he almost frightened forwards into missing their chances. At his best with Manchester United, Schmeichel won five Premier League titles as well as Euro 92 with Denmark.