David de Gea: Where does ex-Manchester United goalkeeper rank among the best in the Premier League? -BBC

David de Gea leaves Manchester United after a productive 12 years – so where does he rank among the Premier League greats?

The Spanish goalkeeper is leaving at the end of his contract and the club is unwilling to match the £375,000-a-week deal he signed in 2019.

But the 32-year-old is leaving on a personal high, having just won his second Premier League Golden Glove for most clean sheets in a season.

BBC Sport takes a look at how De Gea compares to some of the other great Premier League goalkeepers.


After playing in a disappointing Manchester United side for so long, De Gea cannot compete with some of his rivals for trophies.

He won one Premier League title, in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2012-13. United legend Peter Schmeichel and current Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson each have a record five Premier League winners’ medals.

De Gea also won one FA Cup, two EFL Cups and the Europa League – extraditions were also overshadowed by Schmeichel and Ederson.

Clean sheets

Peter Schmeichel and Peter Cech

Only three goalkeepers have ever kept more clean sheets in the Premier League than De Gea – with former Chelsea and Arsenal players Peter Chech by far at the top with 202.

Former goalkeeper for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth David James is second at 169.

Mark Schwarzerwho played for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester, is next at 151, with De Gea at 147.

De Gea’s 17 clean sheets last season brought him to the top David Zeeman, Nigel Martin, Pep Reina, Brad Friedel, Tim Howard And Edwin van der Sar.

For clean sheets at one club, De Gea is second to Cech and his 162 for Chelsea.


Ben Foster

De Gea is third for saves in the Premier League since Opta started recording that data in 2003/2004 – so no comparison can be made to goalkeepers from the earlier era.

In those 19 years former United and current Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Foster tops with 1,248 saves – helped by longevity and playing for some of the weaker sides in the league such as Watford, Birmingham and West Brom.

Finnish Jussi Jaaskelainenwho played for Bolton and West Ham is next with 1,223.

De Gea follows with 1,157 (2.8 saves per game), just ahead of Schwarzer, Cech and current West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Since De Gea’s United debut, his 72% Premier League savings rate is only below Cech’s, Liverpool’s. Alisson and Newcastle’s ex-Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope (of players making 100 or more appearances).


David James

De Gea made 415 Premier League appearances, with just six goalkeepers making more appearances in the division.

That’s particularly impressive when you consider that De Gea made 57 La Liga appearances for Atletico Madrid before joining United and could have 200 more league appearances ahead of him at the age of 32.

Former England goalkeeper James leads the list with 572 appearances – and with it the list of goals conceded (665).

Schwarzer follows next with 514 games, and also for goals against (653). The Australian holds the record for the most Premier League appearances by any non-British player.

Republic of Ireland icon Shay given played 451 times for Blackburn, Newcastle, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Stoke and conceded 607 goals. Brad Friedelwho played for Liverpool, Blackburn, Villa and Tottenham is next with 450 games (567 goals).

Cech made 443 appearances – only conceding 366 goals – with Jaaskelainen next with 436 games (613 goals).

De Gea conceded 446 goals in his 415 top English games.

Individual trophies

David deGa

De Gea won two Premier League Golden Gloves, in 2017/18 and the season has just ended. He is one of only six goalkeepers to win it more than once.

Leaders in four are those of Cech and Celtic Joe Hartwho played for Manchester City, Birmingham, West Ham and Burnley.

Ederson and Pep Reinawho played for Liverpool and Aston Villa has three and Alisson has two.

De Gea has a joint record of four Manchester United Player of the Season awards (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018), level with Cristiano Ronaldo. No one else has more than two.

Something else?

David de Ga

Since De Gea’s Manchester United debut, he has conceded 426, but the expected goals from those shots totaled 467, meaning he effectively denied a further 41 goals.

Only Tottenham’s Hugo Loris more denied in that time, 48 (380 goals from 428 expected goals).

At that time, De Gea is sixth for fouls leading to goals with 17. Asmir Begovic tops with 25, followed by Lloris’ 24.

How does he compare to other United goalkeepers?

United’s top three goalkeepers in the Premier League era are widely regarded as Denmark’s Schmeichel and Netherlands’ Van der Sar – who each won a Champions League for the club – plus De Gea.

Schmeichel won five Premier League titles to Van der Sar’s four and De Gea’s one.

However, De Gea, with 147, beat the pair for clean sheets. Van der Sar kept 132 and Schmeichel had 128 – both also for other clubs.

With De Gea and defender Phil Jones leaving the club this summer, no players at United have played under legendary manager Ferguson or won the title with the club.

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