This season the goalkeeper position has been given a shakeup. For the first time in many years, quite a few are considering a break from the usual tactic of £4.5m + £4.0m.
A cap of £5.5 placed on the top-tier goalkeepers suddenly makes them viable alternatives to the higher-priced defenders in the same teams, Edouard Mendy (£5.0m) vs Reece James (£6.0m), for example, or Alisson (£5.5m) vs Van Dijk (£6.5m).
Let’s take a closer look at the best goalkeeper for FPL-picks in three price categories.
GOALKEEPERS TO BUY IN FPL 2022/23
David Raya (Brentford, £4.5m)
Both Brentford and Raya made an impressive start to the season before injury intervened in Gameweek 9, curtailing the Spaniard’s season as well as the Bee’s form. However, the West London club’s fortunes improved upon his return in Gameweek 24, a significant factor in their battle against relegation.
Individually, Raya averaged 3.6 saves and 4 points per game (the joint highest of any £4.5m goalkeeper along with Aaron Ramsdale and higher even than Edouard Mendy), an impressive tally for his first season in the Premier League
Always a well-organised defence under Thomas Franck, their stats-driven model and precise tactical approach should allay fears of a second-season syndrome. With very decent opening fixtures, the Spanish shot-stopper is best goalkeeper for FPL in the £4.5m price range for me.
Robert Sanchez (Brighton, £4.5m)
The goalkeeper with the highest ownership going into the start of last season, Robert Sanchez, left many FPL managers underwhelmed, with many making the switch to Ramsdale with their early wildcards.
However, this may have been a case of inflated expectations rather than any significant failings on the Brighton no. 1’s behalf. Four clean sheets in the opening eight fixtures are pretty much par for the course for a budget keeper.
Frustrated managers would point to his lack of saves, which is a fair criticism. However, this is a product of Graham Potter’s well-organised defence.
Sanchez amassed an impressive 11 clean sheets throughout the season (2nd most for £4.5 keepers, just 1 behind Ramsdale).
As the Seagulls soar at a seductive 3rd in the fixture ticker for the first six games, Bob Sanchez remains a safe pair of hands in your FPL Gameweek 1 team.
We have written a comprehensive guide to players in every price category, you can find it here:
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, £5.0m)
There’s a reason many of the early line-ups being shared have Mendy between the sticks. The Senegalese keeper kept 14 clean sheets for 130 points last season. He will start every game when fit, and Chelsea’s signings signal intent and ambition. Mendy is a cheap way into their defence, and the team has a good run of fixtures for the first quarter of the season.
Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal, £5.0m)
The Arsenal number one was the surprise package at the start of last season. After signing from Sheffield United, he seemed to immediately settle the Gunners’ shaky defence, keeping six clean sheets in his first ten games and making several acrobatic saves.
The North London club’s form tailed off towards the last ten games of the season with injuries to key men, eviscerating Arsenal’s back line and exposing their defensive frailties.
With these key men expected to return for the beginning of next season as well as Arsenal’s fortunate early schedule where they meet just one of the top six (Man Utd) in their opening eight games, Aaron Ramsdale provides a safe option for those more risk-averse FPL managers.
Nick Pope (Newcastle, £5.0m)
The Burnley stalwart keeper has been thrown a lifeline by the Magpies, who signed the Claret’s shot-stopper for a fee of £10 million pounds. No stranger to the league, one would expect him to settle quickly at St. James’ and with the World Cup just around the corner, he’ll be doing all he can to get in the England side ahead of Pickford and Ramsdale.
Finishing top of the pile for goalkeepers in 2019/20, Nick Pope amassed a whopping 15 clean sheets (just one less than Ederson) and a staggering 170 points. There is no doubt he has FPL pedigree.
Newcastle’s defence also improved greatly towards the second half of last season, conceding more than one goal only twice (away at Man City and Spurs) and securing 5 clean sheets. With decent fixtures in the first 10 games, bar Man City (h) and Liverpool (a), I think Nick Pope offers good value at £5.0m.
Alisson Becker (Liverpool, £5.5m)
The Liverpool number one finished top of the pile for goalkeepers last year with 176 points, just ten behind Emi Martinez from the previous year.
The reason Allison stands out to me over Ederson (also £5.5m), is the number of saves he makes. I have seen interviews with both Van Dijk and Klopp where they have said a defensive tactic which the Liverpool defenders use, is that instead of going and engaging the attacker or attempting to block the shot, risking a deflection, they step off the striker in order to give Alisson a clear line of sight and trust his shot-stopping abilities.
Often cited as the best one-on-one keeper in the world, this means Alisson can rack up the save points.
These reasons combined with Liverpool’s defensive solidity makes him the best goalkeeper for FPL in the £5.5m price range in my opinion.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, £5.5m)
If you didn’t favour Alisson however, another good alternative at this price point is the French World Cup Winner.
As an Arsenal fan it pains me to say Spurs are looking in very good shape for the new season. With good defensive signings, as well as a full pre-season under Conte, I expect them to be well drilled and defensively compact come August. Spurs kept 16 clean sheets last season and Lloris averaged 2.5 saves per game, a decent return for a premium keeper.
Conte’s Inter Milan kept 14 clean sheets on their way to the Serie A title in 2020/21 and with the Italian’s record of whipping underperforming teams into shape, Spurs look likely to be a force to be reckoned with next season. With good fixtures in their first 8, bar Chelsea (a) and Man City (a), Hugo Lloris will still offer value even at the price of £5.5.
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team.