Liverpool hero below Arsenal, Chelsea goalkeepers in ranking of all 20 Premier League No. 2s

Jason Soutar
Premier League back-up goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale, Caoimhin Kelleher and Altay Bayindir.
Premier League back-up goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale, Caoimhin Kelleher and Altay Bayindir.

Caoimhin Kelleher’s Carabao Cup final heroics for Liverpool have seen him shoot up in our ranking of the best back-up goalkeepers in the Premier League…


20) Robin Olsen (Aston Villa)
No gap between current first and second-choice goalkeepers in the Premier League is more significant.


19) Fraser Forster (Tottenham)
To say Forster is past his best would be the understatement of the century. The ex-Celtic goalkeeper was excellent in his pomp but has always been very suspect with the ball at his feet at the best of times.


18) Joao Virginia (Everton)
Virginia has spent time on loan at Reading, Sporting and SC Cambuur since joining Everton from Arsenal in 2018, making six competitive appearances for the Toffees in that time, half of which have come in cup competitions this season.

Virginia is a capable enough back-up, even if he was dropped by Dutch side Cambuur halfway through last season. Gulp.


17) Tim Krul (Luton Town)
Krul, 35, has been Luton’s FA Cup goalkeeper this season and the Hatters are in the last 16, so that is a good sign. The former Netherlands international has one clean sheet and two goals conceded in three matches in the competition.


16) Mark Travers (Bournemouth)
Travers returned from a loan spell at Stoke City in October to leapfrog Ionut Radu as the Cherries’ back-up for Neto. He’s a decent Championship ‘keeper and it is hard to imagine him overtaking the ex-Barcelona man in Andoni Iraola’s pecking order.


15) Wes Foderingham (Sheffield United)
It is not the best of signs that the goalkeeper Sheffield United have been starting all season up to now is worse than 14 Premier League benchwarmers.

Chris Wilder has confirmed that January signing Ivo Grbic will be his No. 1 moving forward, which is probably for the best if truth be told.


14) Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United)
Dubravka has been the man in between the sticks for Newcastle this year with Nick Pope sidelined, but there is no doubt he will return to the bench when the big England ‘keeper returns to full fitness.

The Czech-born Slovakian international is quite similar to Forster in that he is past his best and not very good on the ball, but he is still a fairly decent second option for a Premier League club.

Read more: Who is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League in 2023/24?


13) Daniel Bentley (Wolves)
Many Wolves fans questioned why their club decided to sign a Bristol City benchwarmer, which is fair enough. Outside of their Premier League bubble, there was a falling out at Ashton Gate and Bentley was dropped despite being the Championship side’s best keeper.

One club’s loss is another club’s gain and all that. He is a pretty handy back-up.


12) Altay Bayindir (Manchester United)
The Red Devils paid a small fee to get Bayindir through the door after allowing Dean Henderson to join Crystal Palace.

He is probably regretting his move to Old Trafford given Erik ten Hag’s desire to never play him. Ten Hag just loves Andre Onana.


11) Thomas Strakosha (Brentford)
The sale of David Raya to Arsenal has not impacted things at Brentford. His exit was inevitable and Strakosha has been No. 2 to Mark Flekken this season.

Strakosha joined with relatively high expectations but has only made six competitive appearances for the Bees. It is a bizarre one as he definitely deserves better. Thomas Frank has seen an awful lot more of him than we have, so let’s trust him on this one.


10) Marek Rodak (Fulham)
Quite unfortunate to be replaced by Bernd Leno, even if the German has been a superb signing, Rodak deserves to be a No. 1 somewhere. Not ahead of Leno…but somewhere else.


9) Arijanet Muric (Burnley)
Muric did not deserve to be dropped after a stellar Championship season, but he lost his place after the summer signing of James Trafford, who has not been great in the Premier League.

Vincent Kompany has shown a lot of faith in young Trafford, which will undoubtedly frustrate Muric, for whom a summer exit beckons.


8) Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest)
Poor Turner must have been fuming with the Forest hierarchy after they completed the deadline day signing of experienced goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos. The American managed to keep his spot in the goal under Steve Cooper but Nuno Espirito Santo was not convinced, signing Matz Sels in January.

The former Newcastle ‘keeper is Nuno’s No. 1 and we aren’t that convinced Turner is ahead of Odysseas in the pecking order. Time will tell.


7) Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)
David Moyes has decided to go forward with Alphonse Areola as his first-choice ‘keeper, meaning Fabianski has been riding the bench all season.

Fabianski has been playing more than most on this list, keeping five clean sheets in 14 appearances this term. West Ham’s poor record in domestic cup competitions is not ideal for the 38-year-old, but their European exploits are a big positive.


6) Jason Steele/Bart Verbruggen (Brighton)
Steele ranked 18th the last time we did this feature, which is a testament to the work he has put in and the decision made by Roberto de Zerbi to bring him in for Robert Sanchez.

Some of the goalkeeper rankings are up for debate and we will always look to pick one and one only, but De Zerbi has said Steele and Verbruggen will both play 50 per cent of this season’s fixtures. It is a bit of a winner-stays-on scenario and both will push each other to be at their best in training and in matches.


5) Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool)
It is a bit of a shame that Kelleher seems content sitting on Liverpool’s bench. Of course, they are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but he should be playing football on a weekly basis, not playing second fiddle to Alisson.

His performance in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea was mesmerising, pulling off one of the saves of the season to keep Cole Palmer’s close-range volley from going in in the first half of normal time and later denying Conor Gallagher in a one-on-one situation. We don’t want recency bias to take over; there are still four better No. 2s in Our League.

Conor Gallagher is denied by Caoimhin Kelleher.


4) Djordje Petrovic (Chelsea)
One of those we believe are slightly better than Kelleher is Petrovic, who started in the Chelsea goal in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Petrovic’s summer arrival was slightly confusing after the decision to loan out fellow MLS signing Gabriel Slonina. There is no doubting his ability, though. We will not be surprised to see him continue in between the sticks ahead of the aforementioned Robert Sanchez.



3) Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace)
Henderson joined Crystal Palace permanently after getting fed up with repeatedly being shipped out on loan by Manchester United.

Once again, we are not entirely sure who the No. 2 is between Henderson and Sam Johnstone. If it makes you feel any better, Johnstone would also be third, so it doesn’t really matter.


2) Stefan Ortega (Manchester City)
In terms of great back-up goalkeepers, there are not very many out there. Clearly, there is at least one, though…

Signed on a free transfer from Arminia Bielefeld in the summer of 2022, Ortega has not put a foot wrong since joining Manchester City, playing in all nine of Pep Guardiola’s domestic cup fixtures in 2022/23. The German did not concede from open play in the FA Cup and is not a huge downgrade on Ederson, which is quite the compliment.


1) Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Ortega is a brilliant goalkeeper but Ramsdale is comfortably the best No. 2 in the Premier League.

A lot has been said about his situation at Arsenal with David Raya now Mikel Arteta’s first choice. There are still question marks over Arteta’s decision. Raya is probably the superior goalkeeper, but if you are going to drop a goalkeeper of Ramsdale’s ability, the replacement has to be a lot better if you want to justify the noise. It doesn’t feel like that is the case here.

Anyway, Ramsdale is a superb ‘keeper. A solid shot-stopper and excellent with the ball at his feet, the England international will surely move on at the end of the season. He would start for a lot of Premier League clubs. Just not Arsenal, apparently.

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