Top 10 sweeper keepers across Europe's 'Big Five' leagues
Manuel Neuer is the first goalkeeper that comes to mind when talking about the sweeper keeper role, but is he the best to do it from all the keepers in Europe's 'Big Five' leagues?14 April 2022
The role of a sweeper keeper has become increasingly important in recent years with goalkeepers adjusting to the demands of the modern game.
Here is a quick look at the top 10 keepers for sweeping actions across the top five leagues.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.74
Mid-table outfit Bochum have certainly benefitted from having Manuel Riemann in goal during the season, the German has kept seven clean sheets so far this season and tops the charts amongst sweeper keepers across the top five leagues.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.63
Not far behind him is another Manuel, Manuel Neuer, who still stands tall in Bayern’s goal at 36 years of age. The German international’s bold and confident sweeping style has been an inspiration for many a young goalkeeper coming up through the ranks in Germany and beyond.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.61
In what may come as a surprise to many, Nick Pope has consistently had some of the best sweeper-keeper numbers in the top five leagues for a few seasons now. Pope’s aggressive stance and dominance in claiming crosses and protecting corners is a key reason behind him doing well on this metric.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.52
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been widely touted as one of the two best goalkeepers currently alongside Manchester City’s Ederson. The Brazilian is gifted with all-round talent as a goalkeeper and his confidence in distribution is only an added bonus for a Liverpool side that are looking to challenge for more and more honours with every season that passes.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.48
Another Bundesliga keeper to make the list is Robin Zentner of Mainz, who shows up very well for his sweeping numbers in an extremely energetic and hard-working Mainz team under Bo Svensson in the Bundesliga. The nature of the league naturally lends itself to the likes of Zentner who are comfortable at being asked to be aggressive when coming for the ball.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.36
Former Liverpool backup goal-keeper Peter Gulacsi has rebuilt his reputation brick by brick in German football, plying his trade at RB Leipzig. The Hungarian is a modern-day goalkeeper and fits the demands of the red bull style of play very well, which is further underlined by his excellent numbers.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.31
Greuther Furth may be lying at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings, however, their keeper Sascha Burchert is definitely standing out with his performances and underlying numbers. The 32-year-old has kept a measly three clean sheets so far this season, nonetheless, has remained active in his role as a sweeper keeper when called upon to do so.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.22
Granada number one Luis Maximiano has done well this season and excels in a number of different metrics for the La Liga outfit. The 22-year-old has several admirers across Europe for his style of keeping and though there is a significant overperformance in his underlying numbers, no doubt there are signs of an interesting keeper here.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.17
Another La Liga keeper soon follows behind Maximiano in 9th place with Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera standing out with his sweeping numbers this season in La Liga. The Spaniard has managed to keep an impressive 12 clean sheets so far this season, which has been backed up by strong underlying numbers as a sweeper.
No. of sweeping actions outside penalty area – 1.15
Lastly, Watford’s Ben Foster features on our list of sweeper keepers. Even in his twilight years and part of a relegation-bound team in Watford, Foster shows up well in his sweeping numbers and may present a useful option for a top-side to bring him in as third-choice home-grown keeper come summertime.
All stats are from Statsbomb via FBref | Including goalkeepers with 10 matches played.