Kepa Arrizabalaga, Alisson and Bernd Leno: Which goalkeeper has performed best so far?

It certainly isn’t every summer that three of the big six clubs in the Premier League change their goalkeepers, spending a whopping £158million in the process.

But that’s precisely what happened before the start of the current campaign, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all installing new men between the posts.

The Gunners were the first to make a move, with Bernd Leno becoming one of new manager Unai Emery’s first signings in a £19m deal from German club Bayer Leverkusen.

Liverpool then moved to solve their goalkeeping woes by breaking the world transfer record for the position in signing Brazilian Alisson from Roma for £67m.

But that record wasn’t to last for long – a few weeks later, Chelsea paid £72m to bring in Spanish stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao.

All three are settling into Premier League life and we take a closer look at their performances so far this season.

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA

Following the decision of Thibaut Courtois to return to Madrid, Chelsea needed to sign a world-class goalkeeper to help the Maurizio Sarri era start smoothly.

But they made a real statement by breaking the transfer record for the position, paying the £72m release clause in Kepa’s Atletic Bilbao contract.

Despite only having prior experience of Spanish football, Kepa has adapted pretty much seamlessly to the rigours of the Premier League.

His positive start to the season echoes that of Sarri, who has wasted little time in getting Chelsea playing in the exciting style he perfected at Napoli.

Chelsea sit second to Manchester City by virtue of goal difference only and Kepa has impressively kept six clean sheets in the 10 matches he has played in all competitions.

He has so far conceded just five goals – two against Arsenal and one against each of Newcastle United, Cardiff City and Liverpool.

Kepa has maintained a high save percentage of 81.48 per cent – just edging out Alisson and Leno – while his passing accuracy of 83.39 per cent from 301 passes is key to Chelsea’s play-out-from-the-back approach.

His ease in settling into the Premier League was aided by conversations with Manchester United keeper David de Gea and former Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina when on World Cup duty with Spain over the summer.

Kepa stats
Games: 10

Minutes: 900

Clean sheets: 6

Goals conceded: 5

Shots on target faced: 27

Saves: 22

Save percentage: 81.48

Errors leading to goals: 0

Errors leading to shots: 1

Passes: 301

Passing accuracy: 83.39

Win percentage: 80

‘Football in England and Spain is a little different in the way it is played,’ he said last week. ‘You need a little time, the usual sort of time it takes to get to know your team-mates and the league itself.

‘But it’s all good generally, I’m very happy.’

And after making a blemish-free start to life in England, Chelsea are very happy with him too.

ALISSON

The horror show by Loris Karius in their Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid confirmed that the goalkeeping department was something Liverpool could no longer ignore.

Too many points had been lost as a result of goalkeeping – and defensive – errors in recent seasons and Jurgen Klopp’s side wouldn’t realistically be title challengers unless they fixed the problem.

Their solution was to break the world transfer record for a keeper to bring long-term target Alisson from Roma.

In the same way they set a new transfer record to sign defender Virgil van Dijk back in January, Liverpool didn’t spare any expense in addressing a glaring issue.

The early signs have been largely positive, with the Reds making a strong start in the Premier League, where they are tied on 20 points with Manchester City and Chelsea.

Alisson has kept five clean sheets in his 10 matches played so far in all competitions and has conceded six goals.

There was one glaring mistake – when he was barged off the ball by Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho after attempting to perform a Cruyff turn inside his own box, leading to a goal.

But Alisson will have learned from this harsh lesson that such tricks on the ball won’t always come off in the Premier League.

Aside from that, Alisson has brought the commanding and shot-stopping abilities Liverpool wanted. His save ratio is above 80 per cent and his passing accuracy just below that mark.

While Sunday’s draw with City demonstrated that Alisson isn’t perhaps as comfortable passing out from the back under pressure as his compatriot Ederson, all other facets of his game appear strong.

Already, he is looking like a major upgrade on Karius and Simon Mignolet and that alone could prove the difference between Liverpool winning a trophy this season and not.

Alisson stats
Games: 10

Minutes: 900

Clean sheets: 5

Goals conceded: 6

Shots on target faced: 31

Saves: 25

Save percentage: 80.65

Errors leading to goals: 1

Errors leading to shots: 1

Passes: 268

Passing accuracy: 78.73

Win percentage: 70

BERND LENO

It was the beginning of a new chapter at Arsenal over the summer with Arsene Wenger’s departure after 22 years at the helm and the appointment of Unai Emery.

The Spaniard naturally wanted to reshape the squad in his own image and an early signing was German goalkeeper Bernd Leno, bought for £19m from Bayer Leverkusen.

Signed to provide competition for Petr Cech, it was immediately apparent that Leno would not be the first choice as he sat on the bench for Arsenal’s opening six Premier League games.

Leno eventually made his debut on September 20 against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League but Cech then suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Watford and the German had a big opportunity.

His immersion into the side has coincided with a nine-match winning run in all competitions, though Leno has only kept the one clean sheet so far.

Leno has only played half the number of matches as Kepa and Alisson, but his save percentage is roughly similar and he has yet to put a foot wrong.

Indeed, Leno’s game time with Arsenal led to a return to the Germany squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Holland and France following an injury to Kevin Trapp.

It remains to be seen whether Leno retains his place when Cech is fit again, with it being more likely that the German will serve as Arsenal’s cup goalkeeper.

The competition between the two should drive up standards as the season progresses and that can only be beneficial for Emery and Arsenal as they aim to return to the top four.

Leno stats
Games: 5

Minutes: 450

Clean sheets: 1

Goals conceded: 4

Shots on target faced: 19

Saves: 15

Save percentage: 78.95

Errors leading to goals: 0

Errors leading to shots: 0

Passes: N/A

Passing accuracy: N/A

Win percentage: 100

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