Jeepers Keepers: We round up the new Premier League stoppers
The World Cup in Russia is front and centre for most football fans at the moment. But back in the Premier League, clubs have been earnestly doing their business ahead of the 2018-19 season.
One of the main areas of concern for a number of sides this summer is the goalkeeping department.
It’s often said that a good stopper will earn a team 10-15 extra points a season. So it’s important to get things right between the sticks.
We’ve rounded up who’s done what where the gloves are concerned so far…
West Ham United have pulled off a real coup in getting Lukasz Fabianski from Swansea City. The Poland international was the standout player for the Swans in spite of their relegation last-term.
He offers a genuine improvement on Adrian and the on-loan Joe Hart. At a cost of just £6m, he’s a real snip in the current market too.
Unai Emery isn’t messing about down at Arsenal. The new boss has sought to immediately address the goalkeeping situation by bringing in Bayer Leverkusen man Bernd Leno for £19.3m.
The 26-year-old has made over 230 appearances in the Bundesliga for Die Werkself and could provide a long-term solution to the Gunners’ problems between the sticks.
The suggestion is that Leno won’t immediately replace Petr Cech in North London, with a season as the veteran’s understudy earmarked to help him bed in.
That could be important for the 6ft 3in man, who has a reputation for making a mistake or two due to his relative inexperience.
Newcastle United fans will already be aware of the quality that Martin Dubravka possesses.
The Slovakian international spent the last five months of the 2017-18 season on-loan at St James’ Park from Sparta Prague.
It’s no coincidence that his safe hands sparked a steady improvement in the Magpies’ form either. Newcastle picked up an average of 1.58 points per game with Dubravka in goal compared with 0.96 without him.
His permanent acquisition for a nominal fee of around £4m represents an excellent bit of business by Rafael Benitez and co.
Not many newly-promoted clubs could land Portugal’s number one goalkeeper straight after coming up. But then Wolverhampton Wanderers aren’t a normal club.
Bankrolled and with the connections of Jorge Mendes, you can be sure both were significant factors in Rui Patricio linking up at Molineux on a free transfer following the debacle at Sporting Lisbon.
Wolves fans won’t care one bit for the reasons behind the deal. And why should they? Patricio is a genuine top-level goalkeeper who comes with a wealth of experience and a well-stocked trophy cabinet.
If you didn’t take Nuno Espirito-Santo’s ambitions seriously before, you should now.
It won’t get many column inches but Huddersfield Town’s signing of Ben Hamer from Leicester City is a nice bit of business.
The 30-year-old is unlikely to challenge for a starting berth at the John Smith’s Stadium but should prove to be a solid understudy to Danish international Jonas Lossl.
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