Petr Cech may be the most high-profile goalkeeper to have moved this summer, but he’s not the only one. Richard Jolly profiles five more.
Asmir Begovic (Stoke to Chelsea)
In one respect, Petr Cech has already been replaced. Thibaut Courtois took over as Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper last year. In another, Begovic has joined for a task that, depending upon perspective, is either daunting or irrelevant. He will understudy the Belgian, who is potentially the world’s best goalkeeper, and will be compared to him on his outings. Yet it may not matter if Courtois is a virtual ever-present. Begovic has been one of the Premier League’s finest goalkeepers for the last five seasons, even if the most recent was far from his best at Stoke City. Now he, not Cech, may be its finest second-choice shot-stopper.
Shay Given Aston Villa to Stoke City)
Another on the goalkeeping merry-go-round, Given joins Stoke to replace Begovic. He will compete with Jack Butland, 17 years his junior, to be the regular at the Britannia Stadium and it is worth remembering Stoke manager Mark Hughes signed Given for Manchester City in 2009. The Irishman went two-and-a-half years without a Premier League game as he fell from favour at Aston Villa but regained his spot in May. The 39-year-old also played in the FA Cup final, when he was Villa’s best player in a 4-0 defeat. It suggested the veteran’s reflexes are still intact.
Adam Bogdan (Bolton to Liverpool)
If Cech ranked as the finest reserve goalkeeper last season, the weakest, certainly among the elite clubs, was Liverpool’s Brad Jones. The Australian was promoted when Simon Mignolet lost form for a spell in the side that was notable for his decision to dive the wrong way when Juan Mata scored for Manchester United. In contrast, Bogdan excelled at Anfield when keeping a clean sheet for Bolton Wandererd in the FA Cup. The Hungarian was promptly snapped up by Brendan Rodgers on a free transfer when his Wanderers contract expired. He should be a more convincing alternative to Mignolet.
Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham to Southampton on loan)
It is a story of a swift and unexpected decline. Stekelenburg played in the World Cup final in 2010 for the Netherlands. By 2014, he had lost his place for club and country alike. After Fulham’s relegation 15 months ago, he was loaned to Monaco, where, once again, he sat on the bench. Now, finally, he has a chance to transform his fortunes. Southampton’s first-choice keeper Fraser Forster could miss most of the season with a knee injury. The borrowed Stekelenburg, who played for manager Ronald Koeman at Ajax, is likely to deputise.
Alex McCarthy (Queens Park Rangers to Crystal Palace)
They are strange statistics for a 25-year-old who has received an England call-up: fewer than 150 career starts, spread across 10 clubs. McCarthy has joined an 11th, in Crystal Palace, now, though eight of the others were loan spells. Such are the perils of being a second-choice goalkeeper. In theory, little has changed for McCarthy other than his employer: he was Rob Green’s deputy for Queens Park Rangers last year and should understudy Julian Speroni at Palace this year. Yet the Argentine is nearing the end of his career and McCarthy’s talent is such that Roy Hodgson named him in his England squad in 2013.