By Ben McAleer, WhoScored.com
Last Updated: 26/06/17 8:23am
With the transfer window in full swing, WhoScored.com analyse the top targets for teams across the continent. First off on the list are the big-name goalkeepers who could be on the move this summer.
Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan
When it was announced that Gianluigi Donnarumma would not be penning a new deal with AC Milan, Real Madrid were the first team to be linked with a move for the 18-year-old goalkeeping sensation. Donnarumma gained a better WhoScored.com rating (7.05) than any other shot-stopper in Europe’s top five leagues last season and was on hand to make the most saves (146). He also successfully claimed the most crosses (45) in Serie A last term.
With just a year left to run on his current deal, La Liga and European champions Real Madrid can either firm up their reported interest in the teenager or wait it out a year before potentially snaring one of their top targets on the cheap. However, wait a year and they could face competition from Juventus with Gianluigi Buffon tipped to retire after the 2018 World Cup.
David de Gea – Manchester United
Another goalkeeper linked with a big money move to Real Madrid, David De Gea could already have been plying his trade for the Spanish giants had it not been for a late-night hitch on deadline day back in 2015. The 26-year-old continues to excel for Manchester United, though endured a somewhat underwhelming season given his usual sky-high standards. Nevertheless, only Thibaut Courtois (16) and Hugo Lloris (15) kept more clean sheets then De Gea (14) in the Premier League last season, reinforcing his expert goalkeeping qualities.
His superb shot-stopping ability renders him one of the finest in his position on the continent and it has been no shock that he has been routinely linked with a return to Madrid. The Spain number one looks to be staying put for now, but it is impossible to rule out any Old Trafford exit before the close of the transfer window.
Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid
As arguably the best goalkeeper in Spain, it is little shock to see Jan Oblak linked with a big-money summer switch. Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban makes any move for the 24-year-old a difficult one, with Los Colchoneros reluctant to sell any key first teamer this summer, but that has not stopped Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain from registering an interest in the Slovenia number one.
Oblak registered a respectable save success rate of 72.4% in La Liga last season, with that figure rising to 84.1% in the Champions League. The Slovenian also kept more clean sheets (15) than any other goalkeeper in Spain’s top tier last term, despite missing eight games of the campaign through injury. With a solid command of his area and an impressive shot-stopping ability to match, Oblak is another goalkeeper who has the means to play consistently at the very top and it’s no surprise a number of Europe’s elite sides have been credited with an interest.
Wojciech Szczesny – Arsenal
On the back of two notable years in Italy, interest in Wojciech Szczesny is high. Juventus have been strongly linked with a move for the Poland international as a long-term replacement for Buffon at the Juventus Stadium, while Luciano Spalletti has recently talked up a reunion with the Arsenal goalkeeper at Inter. Szczesny kept more clean sheets (14) than any other goalkeeper in Serie A last term and has really come a long way since his nightmare showing for Arsenal at Southampton back in 2015.
Only Gianluigi Donnarumma (77.2%) had a better save success rate than Szczesny (75.3%) of goalkeepers to make 20 or more Serie A appearances last season, further reinforcing why interest in the Pole is so high. He’s markedly improved during his time in Rome and with Petr Cech’s advancing years, it would perhaps be in Arsenal’s best interests to retain the services of the 27-year-old. However, the Gunners’ failure to land a Champions League spot could come back to haunt them, with Szczesny keen on regular game time in Europe’s elite club competition.
Jack Butland – Stoke
Jordan Pickford’s club-record breaking move to Everton has set a new standard for the way goalkeepers are valued this summer and Mark Hughes recently suggested that Jack Butland would be priced similarly. It means the Potters will now only consider offers of £30m for the England international. The 24-year-old made only five league appearances for Stoke last season due to a problematic ankle issue, but the towering shot-stopper remains one of the most highly thought of goalkeepers in England.
Indeed, in his five starts last season, Butland kept two clean sheets. At that rate, he would have kept 16 clean sheets in England’s top tier last term had he been fit for the whole campaign. Now back at full fitness, Stoke will hope they can fend off interest in the goalkeeper, who has been linked with a switch to Arsenal, as the Gunners prepare to replace Cech in the long term. Should Szczesny elect to remain in Italy, then a move for the Premier League experienced Butland would certainly be a step in the right direction
Kasper Schmeichel – Leicester
Leicester may have underwhelmed in their title defence, but Kasper Schmeichel is still highly regarded in the Premier League. On possible links with a move to Manchester United, father Peter said: “It would be a dream. For me, trying to be as neutral and unbiased and not like a father, he has done well enough to convince everybody that he can play at the highest level.” Along with Oblak, the Denmark international has been tipped as a replacement for De Gea, should the Spaniard opt to depart Old Trafford in favour of a Madrid return.
Schmeichel did enough in his debut Champions League campaign to earn a WhoScored.com rating of 7.24 that was better than any other goalkeeper in the competition. The 30-year-old may not be a headline-grabbing capture, but he’s a solid performer between the sticks and, importantly, has experience in England’s top tier. If United do cash in on De Gea this summer, they could do a lot worse than pursue Schmeichel, who made the third most saves from outside of the box (51) in the Premier League last season, with his impressive reflexes one of his greatest strengths.