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Sport: Ranking Liverpool’s 22 Premier League goalkeepers from worst to best

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Goalkeeper might not be a position that Liverpool have to worry about at present, but they’ve not always been blessed with exceptional talent between the sticks.

In fact, it’s often been a problem position for the Reds over the years, and from beach ball calamities to Champions League final horror shows there’s a highlights reel that fans would probably rather not see again.

Here’s how we’ve ranked the 22 goalkeepers to represent Liverpool in the Premier League, from worst to best.

22. Danielli Padelli

Who? Exactly. Sampdoria loanee, one appearance in 2007. That’s ol’ Danielli Padelli, all right.

21. Patrice Luzi

He’s played fewer Premier League minutes than anyone else on this list – just 13. Those came as Liverpool saw out a 1-0 win over Chelsea, following an injury to Jerzy Dudek, back in 2004.

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20. Doni

Ten caps for Brazil and over 150 appearances for Roma, Doni clearly had something about him but he’s little more than a footnote at Liverpool. He appeared just four times in the league during his time as Pepe Reina’s back-up.

19. Brad Jones

Brendan Rodgers briefly gave Jones a spell in the team, but he couldn’t hold it down. The Australian made 11 Premier League appearances, and conceded 16 goals.

18. Mike Hooper

The Hooperman was Grobelaar’s back-up in the 80s, and that continued into the Premier League era. He’d then go on to warm the bench for Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle.

17. Adam Bogdan

Believe it or not, the Hungarian was only released by Liverpool in 2019, having originally joined four years earlier. He only made two league appearances but just seemed pretty happy to be there.

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16. Pegguy Arphexad

The Guadeloupe-born sticksman played second fiddle to Sander Westerveld, making only two league appearances in three years.

In fact, a 16-year senior career at the likes of Marseille, Lille, Leicester and Coventry saw him make less than 40 league appearances in total. To put that in context, Stuart Taylor made more than four times as many appearances. You kind of have to respect that, really, don’t you?

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15. Danny Ward

Wales international Ward only made two appearances in the league for Liverpool, and three in total, but he earned them a healthy £12million when he moved to Leicester City in the summer of 2018, having built-up his reputation as a solid keeper on loan for Huddersfield’s promotion season.

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Originally joining from non-league Wrexham for £100,000 in 2012, that’s a handy bit of business all-round.

14. Paul Jones

Became Liverpool’s oldest debutant at 36, keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa. That’s a pretty good 50% ratio, with just two appearances in the league.

13. Scott Carson

Carson enjoyed a half-decent career, but he only ever made four appearances in the league for Liverpool and was never going to usurp Reina.

Now at the other end of his career, he’s fulfilling the “wait, what, why?” position at Man City, also known as the Richard Wright role.

12. Caoimhin Kelleher

Four Premier League appearances. Two clean sheets. Not a bad start to his Liverpool career – every chance he steadily climbs this list.

11. Chris Kirkland

Signed on the same day as Dudek in 2001, Kirkland had competition from day one. Suffering from several setbacks, including a season-ending ankle injury in 2002, Kirkland was unfortunate he never really had a chance.

10. Brad Friedel

Like David James, Carson and Kirkland, a Premier League stalwart that had better years elsewhere. Friedel made 25 appearances in the league for Liverpool and couldn’t quite hold his place down, but the club might have been better off keeping him and letting him develop.

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Liverpool might not have believed it when they allowed him to leave in 2000, but Friedel would go on to spend 15 more years at the very top, playing well into his 40s, making 450 appearances between his stints with Blackburn, Aston Villa and Spurs – in many of those years he was a better keep than anyone Liverpool had on their books.

9. Loris Karius

You can’t mention Karius without a reference to his costly pair of mistakes in the 2018 Champions League final.

It’s rough, especially after his tearfully apologetic reaction, but that’s ultimately a fair reflection of the error-prone German. Still, he did enough to seize Mignolet’s spot as Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice goalkeeper for a short while.

8. Adrian

After joining on a free, Adrian was instantly thrown into the deep end when first-choice keeper Alisson picked up a calf injury. He featured as Liverpool set the pace in the early weeks of the season, and became a bit of a cult hero for his penalty shootout heroics in his first start for the club, the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea.

But the Spaniard did make some costly mistakes as Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2019-20.

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He was also in goal for that 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa and has since been usurped by Kelleher in the pecking order.

7. Bruce Grobbelaar

Still probably top of the list for Liverpool’s all-time goalkeepers for the honours he won during the 80s, the most successful club in the period in the club’s history, winning six league titles, three FA Cups and one European Cup.

But the Zimbabwean was on the wane in the years of his career that overlapped with the Premier League, and he was ultimately symptomatic of a fading force after 1992.

6. Simon Mignolet

The Belgian never quite convinced during his six years with Liverpool, and rarely did he replicate the show-stopping performances of his early years with Sunderland, but Mignolet was still seen fit to make over 200 appearances for the club – 155 in the Premier League – so he couldn’t have been that bad.

Might have been a Premier League winner in his first season with the club, were it not for Steven Gerrard’s slip in 2014. He played all 38 matches of that oh-so-close campaign.

5. David James

It was during his years with Liverpool that he earned the Calamity James nickname, thanks to his frequent blunders.

Still, it’s hard to argue that what would follow in the next few years would be any improvement, going on to play at the top level for another decade after he left Anfield, keeping 169 clean sheets in 572 appearances.

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4. Sander Westerveld

The Dutchman won five trophies in two years with Liverpool, and you can’t really argue with a return like that. But like the man behind him on this list, he was prone to an error, and at times it felt like those trophies were won in spite of him, rather than because of him.

The 2001 UEFA Cup final against Alaves was a case in point: Gerard Houllier’s young side might have breezed through if not for a shonky performance from Westerveld. But thanks to him we got a classic 5-4 that went all the way to extra time.

a hand holding a green ball © Provided by PlanetFootball

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3. Jerzy Dudek

It would be an overstatement to say that Dudek was always reliable at Liverpool, especially during their Premier League struggles in the early noughties.

But the man’s penalty saves in the 2005 Champions League final ensures he’ll forever be remembered as a club legend. And that’s fair enough.

2. Pepe Reina

The standard-bearer until Alisson arrived, Reina has more Premier League appearances than any other goalkeeper and was often brilliant, especially in his first couple of seasons after being signed by his compatriot Rafa Benitez.

He kept 134 clean sheets in 285 appearances in the league.

But he started to look a little more erratic in his latter years and departed the club in 2013, originally on loan to Napoli and latterly to Bayern Munich, enjoying a nomadic career at some of Europe’s most glamorous clubs since.

1. Alisson

The most expensive goalkeeper in the world for a few days before Chelsea beat it when signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, Brazil’s No.1 has more than lived up to his price tag.

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Getting plenty of praise for his role in Roma’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018, Alisson has kept his stellar individual form going by lifting the trophy a year later with Liverpool.

The 28-year-old was also a massive figure in ending their 30-year wait for a league title, keeping 15 clean sheets in 29 Premier League appearances in 2019-20.

While he’s not been beyond the very occasional blunder, especially over the past couple of years, he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. And he’s the only keeper on this list to have scored a Premier League goal.

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