Top 10 young goalkeepers to watch out for in Europe

    These young goalkeepers have been stealing the spotlight with their brilliant performances.

    gianluigi donnarumma won the uefa best player of the tournament award at euro 2020. in doing so, the 22-year-old became only the second goalkeeper to win the award after peter schmeichel in 1992. this has called the world’s attention to budding goalkeepers who can similarly captivate audiences.

    Some of these goalkeepers have already contributed to their teams with outstanding individual performances. Illan Meslier and Christian Fruchtl are some of the more familiar names, but who else makes the cut? Find out for yourself in this list of the 10 best young goalkeepers in the world:

    10. gabriel brazao (inter milan)

    internazionale youngster gabriel has been under the tutelage of veteran captain samir handanovic for some time now. despite not having played any games for the Nerazzurri, he is still an interesting goalkeeper to watch.

    He had a good season with the second division Albacete in 2019-20, as he made 15 saves and had a 75% save percentage in just five appearances. only time will tell if he can replicate this form at the highest level.

    9. manuel gasparini (legnago)

    Gasparini made his way through the ranks of Udinese Calcium and is currently plying his trade at Serie C club Legnago. Since his senior professional debut in the 2017/18 Coppa Primavera season, he has kept 10 clean sheets in 57 appearances.

    Furthermore, he managed a clean sheet in just five appearances for the legnago in 2021/22. if he maintains this level, the udinese could try to tie him again for no. 1 place

    8. stefan bajic (as saint etienne)

    bajic has been a true sainté les verts player, having joined the first team straight from his youth academy. The 20-year-old Frenchman has made seven starts for Saint Etienne this season, but he has failed to keep a clean sheet. however, his ability to get off his lane, often coupled with his ability to clear passing balls, is commendable.

    He still has a long way to go as Saint Etienne sits 20th in the Ligue 1 table. Expect him to improve on the 1.4 saves inside the box (per game) he has achieved in just seven starts this season.

    7. dogan alemdar (rennais stadium)

    The 19-year-old kayserispor graduate has started a potentially eventful career with his move to france’s stade rennais. his only start to the campaign was rennais’ loss to nancy in the french cup.

    Including the U-21 and U-19 games, Dogan has appeared for Kayserispor 69 times. last season, he amassed a total of nine clean sheets in 28 appearances for the Turkish side in the super league. His impressive 3.2 saves per game is surely worth following, as it indicates that he is developing into an intelligent goalkeeper.

    6. christian fruchtl (bayern munich)

    one of the best young goalkeepers to watch is bayern munich’s christian fruchtl. Fruchtl, 21, has been playing as a substitute for Bayern’s legendary Manuel Neuer until now. although he has not played for the first team, bayern munich’s coaching staff has closely followed his performances.

    In 2019/20, Fruchtl made 27 appearances for Bayern Munich II in the Bavarian third division and helped them win the league. he generated 28 saves and kept five clean sheets, as well as saving a penalty. one can expect him to excel, should he appear in stern des sudens in the future.

    5. konstantinos tzolakis (olympics)

    at just 19 years old, tzolakis has already won three trophies with olympiacos. he was part of the teams that won the Greek cup (2020) and the Greek league twice (2020, 2021). with 55 appearances so far, he has earned 17 clean sheets.

    more impressively, two of those clean sheets came in four appearances during the uefa champions league qualifying stages. Having made three solid clean sheets in five league appearances this season, Tzolakis looks to fly high.

    4. maarten vandevoordt (genk)

    the belgian goalkeeper from genk has become a regular in their starting eleven after his impressive 10 starts last season. he has a record 93 saves from a staggering 136 shots faced, while keeping six clean sheets. vandevoordt ranks in the 95th and 98th percentiles for defensive actions outside the penalty area and average distance of defensive actions from goal, respectively.

    This suggests how comfortable you feel playing the role of goalkeeper. At such a young age, his commitment is huge and enough to make him a reliable last line of defense for any team.

    3. gavin bazunu (portsmouth)

    The 19-year-old Irish goalkeeper is in Portsmouth this season, on loan from Manchester City. Portsmouth jumped at the chance to nab him after his spell at Rochdale saw him make a whopping 85 saves. The Shamrock Rovers graduate has already repaid Pompey’s faith, bettering his previous record (seven) and earning nine clean sheets this season.

    a total of 13 clean sheets in 49 appearances and 142 saves in 217 shots faced are milestones in themselves. the guardians of the city may be excited to see it flourish, and the likes of ederson and zack steffen may want it to learn from them.

    2. kjell scherpen (brighton and hove albion)

    the seagulls’ latest recruit has an impressive resume and has already made his mark in premier league 2. scherpen won the dutch league twice and the dutch cup once with ajax. In his first season in the Eredivisie, he made 34 appearances and went on to have five clean sheets and 48 saves in 14 Eerste Divisie games.

    This season, he has kept a clean sheet in all six of his appearances for Brighton’s under-23 side. Scherpen’s 61 saves last season earned him a transfer to Brighton, where he can easily aspire to be one of the best.

    1. illan meslier (leeds united)

    Most people will remember Meslier for his superb reactionary saves against Sheffield United, Arsenal and Everton last season. the frenchman has been given the job of starting goalkeeper by leeds tactician marcelo bielsa. Despite Leeds’ 5-1 opening-day thrashing by Manchester United this season, he has managed three clean sheets in 19 appearances.

    In addition, he has also followed last season’s 134 saves with 63 so far. Bielsa’s high-octane soccer brand has placed him in the 88th percentile of touches (on the ball by 90) as he has an average of 42.78 touches. he is most effective in the air, as suggested by his inclusion in the 99th percentile with 13.4% crosses stopped (every 90 minutes). Playing in arguably the toughest of the top five leagues, Meslier has generated some photogenic saves and it’s likely he’ll continue to do the same.

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