The Top 10 Goalkeepers in the Championship

I will confess, this list was a lot harder to make than I was expecting.

Ranking one goalkeeper over another is a tricky task in itself, mainly because the data surrounding them never really tells a true picture of their ability.

It also doesn't take into account things such as coming out for crosses or distribution.

Therefore, most of this list is based off what I've seen of the Championship's 'keepers.

I've tried to consider all-round into account, such as shot-stopping, distribution, commanding of the area and reliability.

Admittedly some of the placings are based purely off preference and are difficult to justify, but having watched more of the league than your average man, I have a good idea in my head of who the top shot-stoppers in the league are!

So here's how I would rank the top 10 goalkeepers in the second tier.

10) Thomas Kaminski - Blackburn

I'd like to apologise to Blackburn fans.

Many might be outraged that Kaminski isn't higher on this list, and that's completely understandable.

He's been brilliant this season since joining from Gent and Rovers seem to have found themselves a real gem.

The only reason he isn't higher is because I've only seen a small sample size of him so far!

The rest of the 'keepers on this have all had at least a full season under their belt in England.

So rest assured Blackburn fans, if Kaminski were to continue his solid form over the course on this season then I'd happily move him much higher.

9) Freddie Woodman - Swansea

There aren't many young English 'keepers as promising as Freddie Woodman.

The Newcastle loanee is highly thought of, that much is clear after his parent club made sure they tied him down to a new deal just before he was allowed to leave again for the season.

The 23-year-old has been key to the Swans defence being as strong as it has been this season (second fewest goals conceded).

He also boasts the second best save percentage in the division.

Woodman has shown great maturity for someone so young and his all-round ability makes him one to keep an eye on over the coming years.

8) David Raya - Brentford

There's a reason Arsenal were after the Spanish stopper.

The 25-year-old is more than capable of playing at the top level and at still quite young age (in goalkeeper terms) he's only going to get better.

Because of Brentford's sturdy defence, he's often left with not much to do in some games, but when he's called into action he rarely lets his team down.

There's also an argument for him being the best 'keeper with his feet in the division, which is crucial to how his side want to play.

7) Alex Smithies - Cardiff

After Neil Etheridge's superb form in the Premier League back in 2018/19, it was going to take something special to take away the number one jersey from him.

Alex Smithies has done that.

The 30-year-old hasn't put a foot wrong since being given the chance early last season and has gone even further in some cases, keeping his side in plenty of games with some unreal saves.

Only two goalkeepers have made more stops than him in the Championship this season, which shows how important he's been to Cardiff this campaign.

They've had a rocky start but it could have been made worse had it not been for Smithies.

6) Adam Davies - Stoke

It blows me away that Stoke didn't give Adam Davies a chance sooner.

One of the big factors behind their dreadful campaign last season was the abysmal form of Jack Butland.

They persisted with him for way too long, and even gave Adam Federici a go between the sticks before remembering they had Adam Davies available.

This season he's been arguably the best 'keeper in the Championship, pulling off some remarkable saves before getting injured.

It's unfortunate because he was just establishing himself as the Welsh number one as well.

Despite Angus Gunn being a more than capable shot-stopper, Stoke fans will be keen to get Davies back with the number one jersey.

5) Ben Foster - Watford

Despite being 37, Ben Foster is still proving to be as important as ever for the Hornets.

It's always been a mystery to me how he's not played more games for England.

The drop down to the Championship has meant he's not as busy as he was last season but is still having to produce big saves for his side.

He'd still be able to do a job at the top level, not that Watford will be keen to see him go!

His form will be crucial in their hunt to get back to the Premier League

4) Bartosz Bialkowski - Millwall

Bialkowski is the best shot-stopper in the Championship, I have no doubt about that.

When he was at Ipswich, there were games where he was single-handedly dragging them to a point.

He was producing match-winning saves on a weekly basis.

Since signing for Millwall, he's been doing the same, just not as regularly thanks to a much more solid defence.

The things that let him down are his distribution and his capability of having a clanger.

The former is probably the main reason he's not playing in the Premier League, but his shot-stopping is SO good that I personally think it makes up for his lack of ability with his feet.

3) Rafael Cabral - Reading

Reading could have been in a bit of trouble last season, had it not been for Cabral.

There were plenty of games where he was a one man barrier, saving points on his own.

It's perhaps not surprising when you consider he has played for Brazil after all.

I'd have put him slightly higher but for a couple of shaky moments this season.

Nonetheless, the data from the last campaign placed him as one of the best 'keepers in the league and that form will return again.

2) Brice Samba - Forest

Samba is back to his best.

For two-thirds of last season he was the stand-out 'keeper in the division.

The final third coincided with a drop in form which also saw Forest as a whole go on a sloppy run.

However, the early signs from this season indicate he's at the top of his game again, even if his teammates are taking a while to get there.

A superb all-round 'keeper, particularly with his feet - I'd be surprised if he isn't playing Premier League football at some point.

1) Tim Krul - Norwich

When he was at Newcastle, Krul was arguably at one point the best 'keeper in the Premier League.

His form was outrageous but it then dipped and led to him having a few quiet years.

Since moving to Norwich though, he looks to be getting back to those levels.

The Canaries were rather terrible last season and if it weren't for Krul, things could have been a lot worse.

He won their Player of the Season award and has carried that form into this campaign.

I, personally, have my question marks about how good Norwich are defensively, with expected goals having them around mid-table for chances conceded.

However, only two teams have let in fewer goals than the Canaries this season, and that's largely down to the brilliance of Krul.

It also speaks volumes that he's still getting into the Netherlands squad despite playing in the second tier.


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