Homepage Update: Summer Transfers: Player Profiles – Goalkeepers

Discussion in 'Everton Forum' started by Josh O'Collins, May 19, 2017.

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  1. Josh O'Collins

    Josh O'Collins Player Valuation: Free Transfer

    Josh Collins submitted an update to GrandOldTeam's homepage

    Summer Transfers: Player Profiles – Goalkeepers

    A goalkeeper plays an immensely important role in the dynamic of a team. You can have the most prolific forwards, clinical midfielders and the tightest of defences; but without a top keeper, no team can truly fulfill its potential.

    This current Everton side has potential across many positions, however one of these areas is not in goal. Ronald Koeman only signed Marteen Stekelenburg last summer for a nominal fee, as he could not identify a suitable long term option in goal. He auditioned the former Dutch International as well as Joel Robles for the number 1 jersey, however neither man was able to make a successful claim.

    Stekelenburg started the season well, but his performances dwindled as the season progressed. Then in came Joel, who like Stekelenburg, performed well in patches, but ultimately failed to impress.

    There is no doubt that the blues are now in the market for a new number 1 this summer, but who are the outstanding candidates? Koeman and Walsh will have their targets in mind, and there are plenty of exciting options to consider both domestically and abroad.

    English Keepers

    23-year-old Sunderland stopper Jordan Pickford is the clear favourite to take over the number one spot at Goodison Park. Having endured a torrid season at the relegated North-East club, Pickford has been one of very few players to come out of the campaign with any credit, along with veteran forward Jermaine Defoe.

    The England U21 international began this season as understudy to former Arsenal keeper Vito Manonne, and got his chance to start in the first few games of the campaign. His performances impressed former Blue’s boss David Moyes as he quickly became first choice.

    Pickford is one of a number of English keepers to have been linked with a move to Goodison Park. Here, we compare the stats of three of those names from this season. Jack Butland would also have been included had he not been injured for almost the entirety of the season.


    Interestingly, Pickford’s clean sheet ratio is far worse than Fraser Forster’s, but it’s on a par with Joe Hart’s. This comes as little surprise since Sunderland’s defence has been one of the most disjointed outfits in the country.

    Likewise, Pickford has made the most saves this season, which is to be expected as he has been playing in a defensively poor side. The saves per goal ratio is more relevant, with Pickford averaging an entire save more than his counterparts. Again, there is something to be said for keepers in poorer teams being more alert to danger, but the margin in this statistic is still significant.

    Distribution is one asset that Pickford was recently praised for in his tremendous display against Arsenal, and his stats show that this has been a strong suit all season. Although his distribution accuracy lies just below 70%, his Average Distribution length of 55 metres shows that he clearly attempts more direct and ambitious passes than his competitors, and he is often very successful. Ronald Koeman likes his keepers to be direct, so this skill will no doubt sweeten the Dutchman’s interest.

    European Keepers

    Everton may well have set their sights on the English market, but it would be foolish not to consider some of the exciting talents that the other top European Leagues have to offer.

    For many, the strongest leagues for Goalkeepers are in the German and French divisions. These are countries that have historically produced the world’s best keepers, and their production line shows no signs of stopping.

    The Bundesliga boasts a plethora of talented glove-men. Arguably the best two outside of Manuel Neuer are Bernd Leno and Timo Horn of Leverkusen and Koln respectively. (Horn has missed half of the season and has also signed a new long term contract just last month, so he was excluded from the comparison table).

    Likewise, Ligue 1 is a renowned producer of goalkeeping talent, such as Stephane Ruffier of Saint-Etienne and Anthony Lopes of Olympique Lyonnais. However, perhaps the most desired of all the keepers in these divisions is Alban Lafont of Toulouse, who at 18, already has over 60 senior appearances under his belt, and his stats are seriously impressive.


    The young and relatively inexperienced Lafont stacks up well against his older competitors. Lopes and Leno are still young, but have 7 and 8 years on Lafont, and their stats aren’t too dissimilar.

    They all have around 10 clean sheets apiece apart from Leno, for whom it could be argued is playing in a slightly more open and attacking league. The saves however tell a different story, and it’s the 18-year-old who comes out on top here. Lafont has made a stunning 93 saves, and only Ruffier comes close with 87. The saves per goal ratio also bodes well for the youngster and the older statesman, with 2.3 and 2.7 apiece.

    If you are looking at distribution, and it is certain that Ronald Koeman is, then look no further than Anthony Lopes of Lyon. Not only does he have perfect accuracy, but his average distance is the longest at 40 metres.

    The Portuguese international has been an unsung hero for a number of years at OL, after he was thrust into the spotlight when he replaced Spurs bound Hugo Lloris. An acrobatic keeper like his predecessor, the academy graduate has been solid since Lloris departed, and has only improved as each season has passed. He may well be an outside contender to join his former teammate in the Premier League, if Ronald Koeman fancies him.

    In terms of dealing with crosses, stats show that Lafont has successfully dealt with high balls better than any of his counterparts. Again, it may be a case of Toulouse having to defend a greater amount of threatening balls, but the numbers show that Lafont has coped with the danger well.

    At just 18 years of age and boasting those statistics, Lafont really has it all at his feet. There is no doubt that he is a future International, and it would be magnificent if Everton could reap the benefit as he grows into a world star.

    Leverkusen sit in 12th place, which for the talent the have at their disposal is simply not good enough. Its been a tough season for Leno, but his quality is undoubted, and he is still aged just 25. His signature would certainly be a major coup for Ronald Koeman’s side.

    Likewise, Ruffier’s Saint-Etienne have not been as successful this year; they are sitting in 8th place with one game to go, having finished in the Europa League places for the previous 4 seasons. Ruffier has always been their top performer and one of the league’s leading goalkeepers. At the age of 30, it would be a prime opportunity for him to move on and test his skills in the Premier League.

    Jordan Pickford remains the overwhelming favourite to join the blues, and his signature would certainly be a major coup. However, it will be a struggle to get him with Sunderland said to be holding out for an eye watering £30 million fee. If Everton deem that price tag to be too much, then they would be best placed to look at these options elsewhere, all of whom could offer something different and exciting to aid this Everton side in transition.

    *Stats Courtesy of Squawka.com
  2. McBain

    McBain Player Valuation: £70m

    *Bookmarks for rainy day
    COYBL25 and Catfish Blues like this.
  3. Great read that, altough Joe Hart having 100% distribution accuracy was unexpected. Assume he just rolls the ball out every single time?
    Abraders likes this.
  4. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne Moderator Staff Member

    Good post that. Very interesting. I wondered a while back when Bravo was getting stick because his saves per goal stat was awful, but it seems from the ones you've mentioned there that most keepers let in as many as they save. Is that a recent thing?
  5. Looking forward to reading this fully later. Looked at the pics for now.

    Joe Hart has a 100% distribution rate?
    That can't be true surely!
  6. Frank Gallagher

    Frank Gallagher Player Valuation: £70m

    Hart has the worst distribution out of all those keepers. its woefull!
    Joey66 likes this.
  7. RFUS

    RFUS Anustart

    Average length is quite short though. Maybe he passes it out often?

    Pickford only has 69% accuracy but he definitely has the best distribution. It's just that it's so good he'll attempt much further and more difficult goal kicks, which naturally have a higher chance of failing. The same way Stones has such a high passing accuracy at city, he mostly passes it sideways five yards.
    mkrudden likes this.
  8. nsno-chris

    nsno-chris Player Valuation: £70m

    That lad at Toulouse seems to command his box a bit. 117 catches in 36 games, at 18

    ParisToffee and Eggs like this.
  9. Hogwild

    Hogwild Player Valuation: £10m

    @Josh O'Collins - excellent thread. would be curious to see how Butland and Schmeichel compare using those measurables. Joel too for that matter to have a baseline.
  10. toffeejoc

    toffeejoc Player Valuation: Free Transfer

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    I was also surprised at Hart's distribution %, but the key point here is that his distances are a lot shorter, as he clearly passes it just to the back line as opposed to Pickford who likes to find Defoe with a direct pass.

    @Hogwild Unfortunately Butland's injury made it hard to compare his stats this season. It may be best to wait until he returns to see whether he will get back to his best.
    Schmeichel is a good shout, his saves/goal is 2.3 the same as Lafont, Joel 2.2, Pickford 2.4. His Distribution Average is 51m at 43% success, Joel 41m at 56%, which makes Pickford's 55m at 69% look more impressive.
    Joel's weakness it seems is commanding his box, with 8 punches and 59 catches, Schmeichel 12 and 105 which is very impressive, but still less than 18y/o Lafont's 17 and 117! For perspective, Donnarumma has 16 and 134 at Milan and is talked about a lot more despite there being little difference between the two.
  11. 4737carlin

    4737carlin Player Valuation: £70m

    Too long to read on my phome right now but if it says Hart and Schmeichel are both rubbish and we shouldn't either think about wasting money on either of them, I'll say it's a good read
  12. T_Hans

    T_Hans Player Valuation: £150k

    Give me Pickford. He'd be great to have for years.
  13. Gwladys St. Glory

    Gwladys St. Glory Ticket to Snide

    Glad to see Lafont was included here. I made reference to him in the comments on ToffeeTV's video about keepers during pre-season and nobody batted an eyelid. Main problem would be you'd have to get him in as the #1 because I just can't see any other way and that'd carry certain risks.

    Pickford's got too much of a premium on him because of the obvious, so I'd put it towards VVD and get Lafont in. No idea what Tolouse would be asking for him, though...at his age and his position they won't be eager to sell as there's only one way up if he continues on improving.

    This is a big, big decision if we're going to fully address it this summer.
  14. Eggs

    Eggs Player Valuation: £70m Forum Supporter

    ..like it. Not keen on any Premiership keepers we're linked with but I thought De Gea was lightweight so I'm useless.
  15. DanEFC92

    DanEFC92 Player Valuation: £70m

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