We’re approaching the business end of the league seasons across Europe, with many teams looking to hit their straps ahead of a charge towards domestic and European glory.
Whilst the headlines tend to shift towards the goalscoring match-winners, a lot of the credit should often be redirected to men between the sticks.
We take a look at the 8 goalkeepers across Europe’s 5 highest ranked leagues, who have kept the most clean sheets so far this campaign.
8. Pepe Reina (Napoli) – 14
Former Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina is enjoying a superb season in Italy, with Napoli charging towards their first Serie A title since 1990.
Gli Azzurri currently sit one point ahead of title rivals Juventus, with the two streets ahead of the chasing pack.
Their sparkling form this season has much to do with their ability to keep clean sheets, with Reina shutting out the opposition 14 times in all competitions so far.
7. Steve Mandanda (Marseille) – 16
Steve Mandanda spent eight years at the Stade Vélodrome before chancing his arm in the Premier League with Crystal Palace back in 2016.
The Frenchman struggled to dislodge Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal however, and swiftly returned to familiar surroundings after making just nine Premier League appearances.
He has found his spark once more, keeping 16 clean sheets in a highly impressive comeback season for Les Olympiens. His form has helped elevate Marseille up to third in Ligue 1, just a point behind rivals Monaco.
6. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) – 16
Chelsea have struggled to maintain the standards set in manager Antonio Conte’s first season, with the Blues’ title defence petering out into a bit of a damp squib.
It’s not all doom and gloom though at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea maintaining the ability to keep a clean sheet when it’s really needed. The continued form of Thibaut Courtois has been a positive, with the Belgian keeping another 16 clean sheets so far this campaign.
His form has not gone unnoticed, with Spanish giants Real Madrid rumoured to be keen on bringing him to the Bernabeu.
5. Ederson (Manchester City) – 16
Manchester City’s hunt for a high-quality ‘sweeper keeper’ appears to have ended with the unearthing of Brazilian stopper Ederson.
The former Benfica man has been a revelation for City this season, impressing with his shot-stopping ability, distribution and all-around composure.
Pep Guardiola’s side are marching towards a third Premier League crown, and have impressed on the Champions League stage this season. Much of their good form has seen them shutout the opposition, with Ederson celebrating 16 clean sheets so far.
4. Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain) – 16
Paris Saint-Germain keeper Alphonse Areola spent three separate loan spells away from the club, before finally getting his chance between the sticks in the French capital.
The 24-year old has firmly established himself as the Parisians number one this season, keeping an impressive 16 clean sheets so far this campaign.
His side continue to dominate Ligue 1, with Monaco languishing 12 points behind in the title race.
3. David De Gea (Manchester United) – 18
Manchester United keeper David De Gea has again been in superb form, often saving Jose Mourinho’s bacon with some top-drawer performances.
The Spaniard has long been a target of Champions League holders Real Madrid, but United have so far resisted selling their prized asset, and it’s not hard to understand why.
De Gea’s positional awareness, superb reflexes and command of his area continue to impress worldwide audiences, with 18 clean sheets kept in 32 first-team appearances this campaign.
2. Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona) – 18
Barcelona are unbeaten so far in this season’s La Liga, with goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen often a spectator in goal.
The Catalan giants are seven points clear of nearest challengers Atlético Madrid, with arch enemy Real Madrid enjoying a miserable domestic season.
The 25-year old German played understudy during his first two seasons in Spain, but has firmly established him in the upper echelons of goalkeeping ability since then.
His poise, communication and shot-stopping are staple components of his impressive game, helping him to 18 clean sheets in 30 appearances this season. A rather handy defence helps as well though…right?
1. Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid) – 18
Standout performer and current leader of this shot-stopping celebration is Atlético Madrid keeper Jan Oblak.
The 25-year old, much like Manchester City’s Ederson, is a former graduate of Benfica’s impressive youth academy, with Oblak prospering into one of the finest goalkeepers in the world since then.
The Slovakian has shone since taking over from former loanee Thibaut Courtois in the Atlético goal three seasons ago, being named in the La Liga Team of the Season for the past two campaigns.
He has also won the famed Zamora trophy two years in a row, recognition for his superb goals to game ratio. His outstanding form has continued this season, with Oblak keeping 18 clean sheets in his 29 appearances.