The perfect goalkeeper signings Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea must make this summer

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It looks set to be a summer of Premier League goalkeeper pursuits, as a host of elite sides look to land a new number one.

A good goalkeeper is worth their weight in gold. A great goalkeeper, however - taking into account an approximate valuation of $4.5 million for the largest nugget ever found (a 72kg chunk christened the Welcome Stranger) and assuming that a world class stopper in today’s market might fetch anywhere in the region of £50 million or so - could be worth several times their weight in gold.

This summer looks set to be something of a goalkeeping carousel, with a whole host of Premier League clubs in the market for new additions in between the sticks. Half of the traditional top six are understood to be on the hunt for a replacement number one, and all kinds names are being bandied about as square pegs are jammed, suggestively and blindly, at round holes.

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But who should Manchester United, Tottenham, and Chelsea actually look to sign this summer? Through a combination of gut feelings and extensive googling of factors that may or may not have any relevance to the matter at hand, I think I have cracked it. Reds, Whites, Blues - you’re welcome.

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Manchester United - Jordan Pickford

David de Gea’s slow descent into subtle - and occasionally not so subtle - catastrophe has continued in earnest this season. The Spaniard veers wildly between the sublime and the subpar, and the calls for his quiet removal at Old Trafford grow louder with each passing incident. Incident, in case you were wondering, is a diplomatic way of saying ‘cock-up’.

One of the most glaring issues that we’ve seen throughout Erik ten Hag’s debut campaign as United manager is De Gea’s lack of quality with the ball at his feet. The Dutchman’s tactical approach is one that relies on an ability to build from the back, and in numerous instances, the Spaniard has been found wanting in that regard. Whether it is poor decision making or a genuine absence of talent, De Gea often plays passes that feel about as responsible and safe as chucking a live grenade into a phonebox.

Pickford, however, has no such problems. The England number one is renowned for his distribution, and can play long or short with relative ease. His shot-stopping is excellent too. It is no exagerration to suggest that he has been one of, if not the, key presence in Everton’s last two daring escapes from the jaws of relegation, and as impressive as De Gea can be, the 29-year-old is not far behind.

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The key distinction, then, is that Pickford’s game is, at this stage, more well-rounded, and indeed, better suited to the style of play that Ten Hag is trying to cultivate. After years of toil for both the Toffees and boyhood club Sunderland before them, he is deserving of his chance at a Champions League club, although there is an argument to be made for the Red Devils needing him more than he needs them.

Tottenham - Andre Onana

Much like the situation with United, the time feels right for Tottenham to make a change. Hugo Lloris has mashed the button marked ‘EJECTOR SEAT’, and looks set to be propelled out of north London faster than you can say ‘Does the Audi Cup count as a major club honour?’.

Spurs continue to be linked with Jordan Pickford, but seeing as I’ve already decided he’s off to Manchester United, perhaps they could instead turn their attention to Internazionale’s Andre Onana. Perpetually impressive, the Cameroonian is just coming off the back of a run to the Champions League final with the Serie A giants, and has been a reliable and influential figure throughout.

A fine shot stopper with one of the highest save percentages in Italy this season, he also has the distinct advantage of being genuinely talented with the ball at his feet. From coolly side-stepping forwards to pinging diagonals into the path of waiting wingers, there is little that Onana can’t do, and the likes of Son Heung-min would surely benefit from having somebody who can spark counter attacks out of nowhere.

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If Tottenham are to have any hope of reclaiming their spot at Europe’s top table next season, they need to back new manager Ange Postecoglou wholeheartedly in the transfer market this summer. Signing Onana would be a real statement of intent.

Chelsea - David Raya

Chelsea’s modus operandi of late has been spending big on players who have made little to no impact. But what if - and this is crazy, I know - they didn’t do that? What if, instead, they spent a relatively modest amount on a signing who has proven themselves to be a valuable asset in the Premier League, and who also has the potential to come in and just be, y’know, dependable? Madness.

Brentford’s David Raya has a lot going for him. A magnificent shot stopper who, at 27, is in the prime of his career, the Spain international has taken to life in the top flight with effortless ease over the past couple of seasons. Per 90 minutes, he made 4.1 saves in the Premier League in 2022/23, compared to the 3.1 recorded by compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga, and registered a save success rate of 75.1%. With tha ball at his feet, he completed 10.8 accurate long balls per game this term, and for a team with the natural width that Chelsea boast, that could prove to be a useful weapon.

Again, Raya is a player who is being mentioned in relation to a possible swoop from Spurs, but if the Blues could pull their finger out and hijack the deal, they’d be bringing in a superb addition to their defensive cohort.

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