In Focus: The Premier League clubs in safe hands with top stoppers
In the battle for the Premier League title, the form of a goalkeeper is key.
All three of the top flight’s main contenders have got high-class custodians between the sticks.
Edouard Mendy, Ederson and Alisson are three of the very best — but they are plenty of others enjoying fine seasons.
We take a look at the stoppers who have been impressing.
Chelsea’s surprise package
After Kepa Arrizabalaga's struggles at Chelsea, Mendy was brought in last season as a safe pair of hands.
He was not necessarily expected to become the long-term Blues No1, though.
After all, relatively little was known about the Senegalese stopper signed from Lille for £22million.
But the 29-year-old has been exceptional since moving to Stamford Bridge and the importance of his form has not been lost on his team-mates.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek recently said: "He [Mendy] has been a constant from the start of the season and some of the saves he’s made have kept us in winning situations.
"That’s what you need if you’re trying to win a title, to have someone like that behind you who can always save you after a mistake. He can get you out of trouble and he’s been fantastic."
Mendy has played every minute of every league game, conceding only four goals and making 28 saves.
He has been commanding from crosses and perhaps most impressively has come off his line to win possession for his side six times — that is more than renowned sweeper keeper Ederson (five).
City's sweeper keeper
Manchester City stopper Ederson has been back to his very best this campaign after a shaky 2020-21 season.
Both Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp have labelled him "world class".
Rodgers’ remarks came after the Brazilian’s exploits in City’s 1-0 victory over the Foxes in September.
But the truth is Ederson has been relatively untroubled compared to Mendy thus far.
He has only been forced into 12 saves in the league — by far the least of any regular top-flight stopper.
City will not be able to protect him that well all season though and the Brazilian will need to perform when called upon.
The smart money says he will not let his team down when those key moments arrive.
The Reds' giant
Like his compatriot last campaign, Alisson has not always been at his best this time around.
In the final match before the international break, West Ham’s first goal came as he flapped at a cross.
And his Liverpool side have already conceded 11 goals in the league — five more than City and seven more than Chelsea.
That is more down to the players in front of him though, with the stats saying he has not made an individual error leading to a shot or goal this season — just like Mendy and Ederson
After their Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid in September, former Chelsea and Liverpool star Joe Cole was left in awe of his display.
Cole said: "That positioning from him, and that game of cat and mouse, unbelievable.
"That’s what great teams have got, when one of your great players isn’t at his very, very best, your goalie is there to be immense."
Best of the rest
The trio are not the only keepers producing the goods in the Premier League this season, however.
Despite a porous defence in front of him, David de Gea has looked back to his best and produced a series of phenomenal saves even as Manchester United lost 5-0 to Liverpool.
There were plenty of questions asked after Aaron Ramsdale's move to Arsenal but he has kept five clean sheets in eight games and made his England debut as a result of his fine form.
And the likes of Alex McCarthy at Southampton and Brighton’s young Spaniard Robert Sanchez have also caught the eye too.
Rarely has there ever been such a swathe of elite goalkeepers in the top flight at the same time.