Liverpool benchwarmer 7th as David Raya tops ranking of all 20 Premier League No. 2 goalkeepers

Jason Soutar
Premier League goalkeepers David Raya, Aaron Ramsdale, Lukasz Fabianksi and Alphonse Areola.
Premier League goalkeepers David Raya, Aaron Ramsdale, Lukasz Fabianksi and Alphonse Areola.

There are plenty of summer signings in our ranking of all 20 No. 2 goalkeepers in the Premier League. Dean Henderson refuses to leave this list.


20) James Shea (Luton Town)
Luton’s first-choice goalkeeper in their promotion-winning campaign was Ethan Horvath, who returned to Nottingham Forest earlier this summer after spending 12 months on loan at Kenilworth Road.

The £2.5m arrival of Thomas Kaminski from Blackburn Rovers means last season’s second-choice, James Shea, will still probably be the Hatters’ No. 2, with ex-Hibernian and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey in the stands.


19) Adam Davies (Sheffield United)
It is time for some cutting-edge analysis that will blow your socks off.

Davies is simply an average Championship goalkeeper. Displacing Wes Foderingham is not the most difficult task in the world, but it won’t be happening at Bramall Lane this season.


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


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

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16) Joao Virginia (Everton)
23-year-old Joao Virginia has spent time on loan at Reading, Sporting and SC Cambuur since joining Everton from Arsenal in 2018, making three competitive appearances for the Toffees in that time.

There is a very strong chance the Portuguese goalkeeper stays at Goodison Park this season, to play second fiddle to England No. 1 Jordan Pickford. Virginia is a capable enough back-up, even if he was dropped by Dutch side Cambuur halfway through last season. Eek.


15) Ionut Radu (Bournemouth)
Comments from Italians under Twitter posts about Radu’s move reading ‘Milan legend!’ is a pretty bad first impression considering he joined Bournemouth from AC Milan’s arch-rivals, Inter. Fortunately for Bournemouth supporters, Auxerre fans – who had the pleasure of watching him last season – absolutely love the Romanian shot-stopper.

Minutes are going to be very hard to come by this season as the man ahead of Radu in the pecking order is club captain Neto. We will probably see the youngster in the cup competitions.


14) Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United)
Dubravka 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 option for a Premier League club; he would definitely start for Luton and be a less painful deputy to Emiliano Martinez at Villa Park.


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 – not related to fellow Hale Ender David – 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 on a permanent basis.

He looks like a decent enough ‘keeper and we are looking forward to seeing Erik ten Hag snubbing him in the Carabao Cup third round.


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

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


10) Marek Rodak (Fulham)
If Sheffield United’s Davies is an average Championship keeper then Rodak is a brilliant one. 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 hero, but he has lost his place to summer signing James Trafford.

Trafford looked confident in his Premier League debut against his former side Manchester City, even if he conceded three. When two goals come in the form of Erling Haaland, we can let you off.


8) Djordje Petrovic (Chelsea)
Chelsea decided to bring in Petrovic from New England Revolution after loaning out fellow MLS signing Gabriel Slonina, which was quite confusing in truth.

Petrovic was one of the best goalkeepers in MLS before his move to Stamford Bridge. At 23 years of age, he is a decent signing despite the initial confusion.


7) 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.

A loan move could be a great shout in January, even if Jurgen Klopp is losing a goalkeeping safety net. His back-up to the back-up is Adrian, if you were not aware.


6) Odysseas Vlachodimos (Nottingham Forest)
Poor Matt Turner must be fuming with the Forest hierarchy after they completed the deadline day signing of Benfica and Greece shot-stopper Vlachodimos, who has 33 caps for his country and has made 32 appearances in the Champions League, excluding qualifying matches.

He is bound to become Steve Cooper’s No. 1 ahead of Turner.


5) Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham)
David Moyes has decided to go forward with Alphonse Areola as his first-choice ‘keeper, meaning 38-year-old Fabianski will not be a regular starter anymore.

It remains to be seen whether or not Moyes will go with Fabianski for the cup competitions but he is a very capable back-up.


4) 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 the aforementioned 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.

Bart Verbruggen during a pre-season friendly.


3) Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace)
Henderson joined Crystal Palace on a permanent basis after getting fed up with spending time on loan from Manchester United.

He is far too good to be a benchwarmer and we are not surprised he pushed for a transfer, but competing with Sam Johnstone is not going to be easy. Henderson will probably be Palace’s No. 1 by the end of the season after they paid an initial £15m to sign him.


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 last summer, 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 a humungous compliment.


1) David Raya (Arsenal)
Ortega is a brilliant goalkeeper but Raya is first here by a country mile. It is surprising that Chelsea did not go for him over Robert Sanchez and Spurs did not pay £40m or wait a few more weeks to get him for a bit less. Arsenal will not care, mind.

The Gunners arguably have the best No. 2 in world football and it would not be a surprise to see Raya usurp Aaron Ramsdale as Mikel Arteta’s No. 1.