PL - The Big Interview - Ep 2Aug 11
Premier League most clean sheets of all-time
From Petr Cech to Peter Schmeichel, find out which goalkeepers have the most clean sheets in in Premier League history.
They might not get the adulation that their goal-scoring colleagues do or command the transfer fees that the centre backs who stand in front of them attract, but a good goalkeeper is like gold dust.
Across the three decades of Premier League action, there have been some incredible stoppers. But who has the most clean sheets?
30. Neville Southall (62 clean sheets)
Clubs: Everton & Bradford
'Big Nev' made his name at Everton, where he played a total of 751 times. Most of those appearances came before the Premier League era, but he still managed 62 clean sheets for the Toffees in the newly formed league. He also played 92 times for Wales, but never at a major tournament.
In 1990, he came close to signing for Manchester United before Alex Ferguson opted for Peter Schmeichel.
Still, Southall won two league titles, two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup with Everton, so he didn't too too badly. He’s also the last goalkeeper to win Footballer of the Year – all the way back in 1985.
30. Asmir Begovic (62 clean sheets)
Clubs: Portsmouth, Stoke, Chelsea, Bournemouth & Everton
Asmir Begovic made his Premier League debut for Portsmouth in 2009, but it was at Stoke where he grasped the number 1 jersey. He played every game of the 2012-13 season for The Potters and picked up the club’s Player of the Year award.
A move to Chelsea followed in 2015, where he played understudy to Thibaut Courtois and won a Premier League title in 2016-17. In 2017, the Bosnian stopper moved to Bournemouth and made 107 appearances for Eddie Howe’s team.
Begovic is also one of only six goalkeepers to have scored in the Premier League. His 2013 goal for Stoke received a Guinness World Record for the ‘longest goal scored in football’.
28. Carlo Cudicini (64 clean sheets)
Clubs: Chelsea & Tottenham
The Italian keeper initially arrived at Chelsea on loan in 1999, before his move was made permanent the following year.
He made the number 1 spot his own, displacing Ed de Goey until 2004 when Petr Cech arrived at Stamford Bridge and quickly became Jose Mourinho’s first-choice goalkeeper. That season Chelsea won the Premier League, but the back-up stopper only made three appearances so missed out on a medal.
In total Cudicini made 142 Premier League appearances for Chelsea before moving to Spurs in 2009, where he played a further 19 times in the top flight.
28. Neil Sullivan (64 clean sheets)
Clubs: Wimbledon, Tottenham & Chelsea
Neil Sullivan was involved in one of the Premier League’s most famous goals.
Unfortunately he was on the receiving end, as a young David Beckham made his mark on English football with a stunning strike from the half-way line.
In his defence, it often took something special to beat Sullivan. He played 181 times for Wimbledon, where he was regarded as one of the league’s best keepers.
He earned a move to Spurs in 2000, where he played over 80 times and was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2001.
28. Alisson (64 clean sheets)
Having joined the Reds in 2018, Alisson has helped Liverpool regularly challenge for top honours as part of a back line that is known for keeping opponents out.
He got his hands on a Premier League title in 2020, having lifted the Champions League the year before. He also has two Premier League Golden Glove awards for the most clean sheets in a season.
Yet his defining moment for Liverpool is perhaps not a save, but a last-gasp headed goal scored against West Brom on the final day of the 2020-21 Premier League season. The goal secured the club’s qualification into the Champions League.
25. Mark Bosnich (74 clean sheets)
Clubs: Aston Villa, Man Utd & Chelsea
Mark Bosnich played for Manchester United pre-Premier League. However, he only made three appearances before returning to Australia.
It was at Aston Villa where Bosnich established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the league, joining the club in 1992 and making over 200 appearances before leaving to re-join the Red Devils in 1999.
His first season at United saw him win the Premier League title but that move wouldn't work out as planned, moving on to Chelsea in 2000 and making five appearances for the club.
24. Ian Walker (77 clean sheets)
Clubs: Tottenham & Leicester
Ian Walker was Spurs’ main man between the sticks for most of the 90s. With his oh-so-nineties curtains hairstyle and snazzy goalkeeper tops he played over 300 times between 1990 and 2001.
He also turned out for Leicester City more than 150 times after joining the club in 2001, including over 70 times in the Premier League.
Walker earned four caps for England, including a 1998 World Cup qualifier at Wembley, which the Three Lions lost to Italy 1-0.
23. Tim Flowers (80 clean sheets)
Clubs: Southampton, Blackburn & Leicester
The signing of Alan Shearer in 1992 is often seen as the pivotal point of Jack Walker's remarkable football revolution at Blackburn Rovers.
But don’t overlook the importance of the signing of Shearer’s former Southampton team-mate a year later, goalkeeper Tim Flowers.
Blackburn secured the stopper for £2.4m, making him Britain’s most expensive ever keeper at the time. In his first season Rovers finished second in the Premier League, before going one better the following season. Money well spent.
23. Simon Mignolet (80 clean sheets)
Clubs: Sunderland & Liverpool
Simon Mignolet came to prominence in 2010, after signing for Sunderland from Belgian second division side Sint-Truiden for £2m.
Some spectacular reaction saves and man-of-the-match performances earned him a £9m move to Liverpool in 2013.
He started well for Brendan Rodgers' side but inconsistency crept in. He played under Jurgen Klopp too, but was replaced by Brazilian keeper Alisson in 2018. In total, Mignolet played over 200 times for Liverpool and made a record eight penalty saves.
21. Lukasz Fabianski (81 clean sheets)
Clubs: Arsenal, Swansea & West Ham
As far as introductions go, Lukasz Fabianski didn’t have the easiest start to his Arsenal career after signing from Polish club Legia Warsaw in 2007.
During his first season he was in goal for the 5-1 League Cup semi-final defeat to North London rivals Tottenham. High-profile mistakes followed in the Champions League and again against Spurs, yet Arsene Wenger predicted he’d become one of the best keepers in the Premier League. And he was proved right.
In 2014 Fabianski joined Swansea City, where he was the first-choice keeper making 150 appearances and plenty of amazing saves before moving back to London to sign for West Ham in 2018.
20. Kasper Schmeichel (82 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man City & Leicester
When your father is one of the greatest keepers in Premier League history, it must be hard to create your own legacy. But Kasper Schmeichel has certainly stepped out of the shadow of his dad, Peter.
After making his Premier League debut for Manchester City, Schmeichel played for Notts County and Leeds before gaining promotion back to the top flight with Leicester City.
And it was with the Foxes that he played his part in the greatest Premier League story of them all – a league title with the 5000/1 underdogs a year after narrowly avoiding relegation.
19. Paul Robinson (86 clean sheets)
Clubs: Leeds, Tottenham, Blackburn & Burnley
Nigel Martyn was the number one at Leeds United when Paul Robinson was making his way through the ranks at Elland Road.
A young 'Robbo' made 24 appearances in the 2000/01 season, including Champions League matches. He established his position two seasons later before moving to Spurs in 2004.
He played 175 times for Tottenham and scored a Premier League goal from deep inside his own half against Watford. He played 41 times for England before making 140 Premier League appearances for Blackburn Rovers and three for their rivals Burnley.
18. Ederson (91 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man City
We’d expect to see him rise up this list rather rapidly, as Pep Guardiola's team is sure to be challenging for the Premier League title this year and beyond.
The Brazilian keeper joined the blue half of Manchester from Benfica for £35m in 2017. At the time, it was the second highest transfer fee ever paid for a goalkeeper.
He already has four Premier League titles and three Premier League Golden Glove awards to his name.
17. Ben Foster (92 clean sheets)
Clubs: Watford, Man Utd, Birmingham & West Brom
Ben Foster began his Premier League journey for Manchester United in 2007 after being spotted by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson while playing in goal for League One Wrexham. Sir Alex was there to watch his son, Darren.
Big things were expected from Foster after successful appearances for United and loan spells at Watford, where he made his Premier League bow, but he ultimately had to move on to secure first-team football.
He went on to win a League Cup medal with Birmingham, play over 200 top-flight matches for West Brom, and play over 100 times in the Premier League for Watford after signing permanently in 2018.
16. Thomas Sorensen (107 clean sheets)
Clubs: Sunderland, Aston Villa & Stoke
Premier League great Peter Schmeichel recommended Thomas Sorensen to Sunderland manager Peter Reid, who promptly bought him from Danish side Odense in 1998.
In his first season, the 22-year-old helped Sunderland reach the Premier League, and that’s where he stayed until 2003, making nearly 200 appearances for the Black Cats, as well as 158 for Aston Villa and 129 for Stoke in the following years.
During his time in the Premier League he helped Sunderland finish 7th twice and played a big part in establishing Stoke as a top-flight team.
15. Jussi Jaaskelainen (108 clean sheets)
Clubs: Bolton & West Ham
Jussi Jaaskelainen made an incredible 476 league appearances for Bolton Wanderers, racking up over 500 if you include cup matches.
He joined the Trotters in 1997, when they were in the Premier League, but established himself the following season in Division 1.
He returned to the top flight with Bolton in 2001 and remained first-choice keeper until joining West Ham in 2012. He’s joint-third on Bolton’s all-time appearance list.
14. Shay Given (113 clean sheets)
Clubs: Blackburn, Newcastle, Man City, Aston Villa & Stoke
Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish signed Shay Given in 1994 after impressing for Celtic’s youth team. A year later Rovers won the Premier League, but Given was understudy to Tim Flowers.
Given went on loan to Swindon and Sunderland, but when Dalglish took over at St. James’ Park, he brought Given with him. There was plenty of competition for that number 1 jersey, but the Irishman beat off challenges from Shaka Hislop, Pavel Srnicek and Steve Harper.
Successive managers relied on Given, including Sir Robby Robson, Graeme Souness and Joe Kinnear. In total, Given played 462 times for the Geordies before moving to Manchester City, where he played a further 69 times before the emergence of Joe Hart. He also played for Aston Villa and Stoke in the Premier League.
13. Hugo Lloris (120 clean sheets)
Spurs signed Hugo Lloris from French side Lyon at the end of August 2012, but he didn’t make his Premier League debut until over a month later, taking over from the impressive Brad Friedel. This ended the American keeper's run of 310 consecutive Premier League appearances.
Since then Lloris has remained pretty much unchallenged as Tottenham’s number one. He became the club’s captain in 2015 and led his country as they won the World Cup in 2018.
12. Joe Hart (127 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man City, Birmingham, West Ham & Burnley
It was Blackburn’s title-winning stopper and Manchester City goalkeeper coach Tim Flowers that recommended the club sign a young Joe Hart from Shrewsbury Town.
He felt Hart had great potential and so it proved.
The Englishman was signed in 2006 and made his debut at just 19 years of age. After a few loan spells away, including a stint with Birmingham City in the top flight, Hart became the first-choice goalkeeper in 2010.
He went on to win two Premier League titles and four Premier League Golden Glove awards with Man City before Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the club in 2016. Hart went on to make further Premier League appearances for West Ham and Burnley.
11. Peter Schmeichel (128 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man Utd, Aston Villa & Man City
Regarded by many as the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era, Peter Schmeichel was a huge presence in the dominant Manchester United teams of the 90s.
He was signed from Danish side Brondby by Alex Ferguson in 1991 for just over £500,000 and went on to win five Premier League titles, culminating in the 1999 treble.
During those years he made many incredible and vital saves. He returned to the English top flight in 2001 for stints with Aston Villa and Manchester City.
10. David de Gea (130 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man Utd
Replacing Edwin van der Sar in goal was never going to be easy, but Alex Ferguson believed Atletico Madrid’s emerging keeper, David de Gea, had the credentials to be United’s new number 1.
And despite a difficult start to his United career, De Gea’s form soon improved and he lifted the Premier League title with the club in the 2012-13 season.
Despite a few wobbly patches, the Spaniard has remained fairly unchallenged in United’s goal during his spell in Manchester. He won the Premier League Golden Glove award for the 2017-18 season and has been awarded the fans’ player of the season four times.
9. Edwin van der Sar (132 clean sheets)
Clubs: Fulham & Man Utd
Edwin van der Sar was already considered as one of Europe’s finest goalkeepers when he sealed a shock move to newly promoted Fulham in 2001. The Champions League winner spent four seasons at Craven Cottage and made 127 appearances before attracting the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2005.
In just six seasons with United he won four Premier League trophies and a Champions League crown. He helped the club reached two more Champions League final in 2009 and his final game in 2011, but lost out to Barcelona on both occasions.
In 2009 Van der Sar set a world record for the longest time without conceding a goal – 1,311 minutes – a run that stretched over 13 games.
9. Tim Howard (132 clean sheets)
Clubs: Man Utd & Everton
American goalkeeper Tim Howard arrived at Old Trafford in 2003, replacing Fabien Barthez between the sticks. It was a promising start for Howard, but inconsistency crept in and he battled for the number 1 spot with United’s other keeper, Roy Carroll.
When Edwin van der Sar arrived in 2005, Howard failed to keep his place in the starting line up.
He joined Everton on loan in 2006, before making the move permanent the following season. Howard would make his final appearance for The Toffees ten years later, having made over 350 Premier League appearances. He also joined the goalscoring goalkeepers’ when he netted against Bolton in 2012.
9. Brad Friedel (132 clean sheets)
Clubs: Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa & Tottenham
It’s testament to Brad Friedel’s ability and determination that he holds the record for the most consecutive games in the Premier League (310).
He’s also the fourth oldest player to play in the Premier League, at 42 years and 176 days.
During his Premier League career he played for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Spurs across an 18-year period, racking up 450 Premier League appearances.
6. Pepe Reina (136 clean sheets)
Clubs: Liverpool & Aston Villa
Most of Pepe Reina’s appearances and clean sheets came while playing for Liverpool over an eight-year period between 2005 and 2013. He returned on loan to Aston Villa in January 2020, during the pandemic, to help the Villans survive relegation – adding a further two clean sheets to his record.
It was his fellow countryman Rafa Benitez who signed Reina for Liverpool, hailing him the best goalkeeper in Spain.
He proved his worth to his manager and the Anfield faithful by setting a club record of eight successive clean sheets in the league during his first season (and 11 in total) and winning three Premier League Golden Glove awards.
5. Nigel Martyn (137 clean sheets)
Clubs: Crystal Palace, Leeds & Everton
Nigel Martyn was a fans’ favourite everywhere he played. He joined Crystal Palace from Bristol Rovers for £1 million in 1989 – the first keeper to transfer for a seven figure sum.
He was in goal for Palace during the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992 before being relegated, promoted and relegated again. He signed for Leeds in 1996, for £2.25m – another record transfer fee for a goalkeeper.
Martyn was brilliant during Leeds’ European campaigns – in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League, with fans naming him the greatest goalkeeper to ever play for the club.
Martyn signed for Everton in 2003 and quickly became first-choice goalkeeper at Goodison Park. His brilliant performances helped the club secure their highest-ever Premier League finish – fourth, in 2005. He retired in 2006, prompting Everton manager David Moyes to call Martyn his greatest ever signing.
4. David Seaman (140 clean sheets)
Clubs: Arsenal & Man City
Even before the arrival of the Premier League in 1992, David Seaman was regarded as one of the best goalies around having won the league title with The Gunners in 1991, conceding just 18 goals.
He was protected by Arsenal’s famous back four under George Graham - Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams and Nigel Winterburn - but as the Premier league evolved so did Arsenal.
When Arsene Wenger took over at Highbury in 1996, the club developed a new and exciting brand of football with stars such as Patrick Viera and Thierry Henry. Seaman remained Arsenal’s number 1 and added two Premier League trophies and three FA Cups to his mantlepiece.
In 2003, Seaman left Arsenal to see out his career at Manchester City, where he made 19 appearances before retiring.
3. Mark Schwarzer (151 clean sheets)
Clubs: Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea & Leicester
Aussie stopper Mark Schwarzer got his first taste of Premier League action when he moved to Middlesbrough from Bradford in 1997. He spent 11 seasons at the Riverside and made 445 appearances for the club.
In 2008 Schwarzer moved to Fulham where he made a further 218 appearances (172 in the Premier League). Moves to Chelsea and Leicester added a handful of appearances to the goalkeeper's impressive record.
The move from the Blues to the Foxes also meant Schwarzer became the first player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different clubs – and he didn’t play a minute of league football for either club during those seasons! He also became the oldest Premier League title winner.
2. David James (169 clean sheets)
Clubs: Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Man City & Portsmouth
One of the originals, David James was there from the very start of the Premier League. He signed for Liverpool in 1992 having impressed at former club Watford.
Liverpool’s first-ever Premier League game (and James’ debut) ended in a 0-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest. During his time at Anfield he faced competition in goal from the likes of Bruce Grobbelaar and Brad Friedel, made some high-profile errors and became part of the infamous Spice Boys group at Liverpool, but he still managed to make 214 Premier League appearances for the club across seven seasons.
Further Premier League spells followed at Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth. At Pompey, James played a big part in helping Harry Redknapp’s men lift the FA Cup in 2008.
With all those league games under his belt, James also holds the Premier League record for the most penalties saved – 13 kept out from the 63 he’s faced.
1. Petr Cech (202 clean sheets)
Clubs: Chelsea & Arsenal
Petr Cech is the only goalkeeper to have kept over 200 clean sheets in the Premier League, setting a number of other records on the way. He’s the fastest keeper to reach both 50 and 100 clean sheets, the goalie with the most Golden Glove awards (four, shared with Joe Hart), and the only keeper to have won Premier League Golden Glove awards with two different clubs.
Cech signed for Chelsea from French club Rennes in 2004 and became the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper in his first season. During this season Cech went over 1000 minutes without conceding a goal (a record at the time) and kept a record 24 clean sheets. Chelsea went on to win the league title.
A serious head injury in October 2006 kept Cech out until January the following year, when he returned with new protective head gear that he wore throughout the rest of his career. The serious injury didn’t stop Cech from keeping clean sheets though and he won two more Premier League titles with Chelsea in 2010 and 2015.
He then moved across London to Arsenal in 2015, where he won the Golden Glove award in his first season. He also won an FA Cup and made over 100 Premier League appearances for the Gunners before hanging up his gloves in 2019.