8 Goalkeepers to buy right now
European football season is in its last months, so time to think about the next season.
For those who are still thinking about which goalie to buy, here are 8 names to consider in buying for the 23/24 season from 8 different leagues. As always do your own research before buying one of them.
1). Andrey Lunev (Bayer Leverkusen):
Russian goalkeeper Lunev came to Germany two years ago to fight for the number one position against Hradecky. A lot of teams were interested in signing Lunev two years ago when he was out of contract, Celtic and Rangers amongst them, but he joined Leverkusen from Zenit, where he was the number 1 goalkeeper for two seasons in a row. Hradecky won the battle for the first goalkeeper, and Lunev didn't play in almost any match. Since January he is seriously injured, therefore Leverkusen already contracted Pentz this winter, unclear when he will be recovered. Anyway time to move on for Lunev this summer. Out of contract, he is an interesting goalkeeper for a lot of teams, but being Russian, I wouldn't be surprised if he actually goes back to Russia and signs for one of the top teams there.
2). Alphonse Aréola (West Ham)
Not out of contract, but too good to be benched forever. Aréola is actually the number 2 on the French national team. If you look at his career, it's rather interesting, because he was the number one in PSG for a couple of years. When he played a full season for Fulham in the Premier League, he moved to West Ham, where he was expected to be the new goalie for years to come. But Fabianksi kept on performing strong and stayed the starting goalkeeper. This season, he got his chance after the injury of the Polish goaltender, but with Fabianski back, he is benched again. Fabianski is out of contract this summer, but there is an option to renew it for another year. It all depends on what will happen with West Ham, if they can stay in the Premier League, and what will happen with manager David Moyes. If Fabianski stays for another season under Moyes, it might be time for Aréola to move somewhere else, on loan or transfer. There were teams interested in him last winter from Ligue 1, but West Ham didn't want him to leave. Let's see what happens this summer, but another season as the backup keeper from West Ham just seems unlikely.
3). Yvon Mvogo (Lorient)
I included him in other lists last season, but this time it's different. The Swiss goalie moved to French side Lorient last summer after playing for two seasons on loan at PSV (on loan from RB Leipzig), but with no chance of becoming number one there, he moved to Lorient. He performed quite well in a club that is not topside in France. But he ended up with a serious injury in November and didn't play any matches since. Mannone is playing as number 1 for Lorient, and it remains to be seen if Mvogo actually will play a match this season, although he started training very recently again. For next season, Mannone is out of contract, and it looks fairly certain that Mvogo will be the starting goalkeeper for the season to come.
4). Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Anderlecht)
It's a bit of a weird story for Van Crombrugge. One of the best keepers in the league, he made a move 4 years ago from Eupen to Anderlecht. Besides injuries, he was always the number one for the Belgian top team, until this winter. When Verbruggen played some games two seasons ago during the injury to Van Crombrugge, he made a very good impression, so it's not strange he actually got a shot at being number 1. But it looked more like an economic decision from the club; they want to get rid of their most expensive contracts, which Van Crombrugge has. But his first months of the season were maybe not that exceptional anymore, and with great talent in Verbruggen as your backup, giving the young Dutchman a shot makes sense, and he does deliver at the moment (even being called up as the 3rd goalkeeper of the Dutch national team). The club wanted to sell HVC already in the winter, but he couldn't make a move. This summer for sure he will move somewhere else, but there are no rumors for now about where he will end up.
5). Leo Jardim (Vasco)
Ok, I know he is not playing in Europe anymore, but I wanted to include him because the league hasn't started yet in Brazil; next weekend it will. Leo Jardim, the name must ring a bell for some of you as he was the number 1 in Lille last season for a while, taking over from Grbic in the middle of the season. He played quite well, and when Chevalier arrived this summer after his loan spell, it was unclear who would be number one in Lille. He started the season for the French team, but after six matches without a clean sheet, Chevalier got his chance and showed why he is such a great talent. Jardim knew he would not play a lot of matches anymore this season and decided to return Brazil to the newly promoted team Vasco da Gama. They even paid a decent amount to Lille to sign him, so it's clear he wants to prove himself in Brazil, and the club has their starting goalkeeper for years to come. A side note is that the club also has Ivan on loan for this season from Corinthians, who was signed two weeks before Jardim joined the club. So Jardim will have a more than decent backup. Important to know is that Jardim played all matches before the season started (Carioca and Cup matches).
6). Okan Kocuk (Galatasaray)
Despite being only 27 years old, Turkish goalkeeper Kocuk has already a lot of experience; I don't think a lot of goalies could say they were defending the goal of five different teams, three of them in the Turkish first division (Süper Lig). When he arrived on a free transfer from his youth club Bursaspor as the backup of Muslera, he played more matches than expected, mainly because of the injuries to Muslera, but still playing 20 league games in 2 seasons is not bad as a backup gk. After a full season playing for Giresunspor in the Süper Lig last season, he came back to Galatasaray, where he only played a few matches during the current season. Most important of all, he is out of contract this summer, and Galatasaray is searching for a new backup goalkeeper. Batuhan Sen is coming back from his loan spell at Fatih Karagümrük and sounds like the most logical choice for next season. But Kocuk is ready to become number one somewhere, most likely in Turkey itself.
7). Mattijs Branderhorst (NEC)
Sometimes you can be unlucky with the team you are playing for, but Branderhorst was really unlucky. The Dutch goalkeeper played a good season last year; therefore, when people were talking last summer about who to pick for the 22/23 season as a gk, Branderhorst was a name that came up regularly. But then the story of Cillessen started. Cillessen was the number one for Holland on 65 occasions while the World Cup was around. In Valencia, he had Mamardashvilli, so he knew he had to move to become number one somewhere to make sure he could arrive at the World Cup. Big names like Ajax were rumored, but he signed for his youth club NEC, where he would be 100% sure to be number 1. (In the end, he didn't go to the World Cup after all.) But this happened on the 8th of August; all teams already had their goalkeepers for the season to start, so bad luck for Branderhorst, who knew he would be the backup all season. Out of contract this summer, where will he go? Well, NEC offered him a new contract, but it will all depend on what Cillessen does. If he wants to become number one again for Holland, Koeman might expect to play at a higher level than NEC, so he might make a move, and Branderhorst might even be renewing his contract. But more likely, Cillessen will just stay for the other 2 years of his contract and Branderhorst will just move somewhere else. The question remains if that will be in the first division or by an ambitious team from the second division.
8). Ivo Grbic (Atletico Madrid)
His name was already mentioned before when I talked about Leo Jardim. Last season he played a full season on loan for Lille, where he was only the number 1 for the first half of the season (until he lost his place to Jardim), returning to Atletico as the backup for Oblak. Played a couple of matches this season during his absence. He performed well in the Croatian first division, HNL, where he was number 1 for 2 seasons with Lokomotiva from 2018 until 2020, which helped him win his move to Atletico. Croatian goalkeeper Grbic is still under contract with Atletico Madrid until 2024. His name has already been mentioned as one of the players who should/would leave the team for the second season in a row. Whereas in the beginning they still saw him as the future replacement for Oblak, it doesn't look like that anymore. Atletico did pay some money for him, so it would make sense they wouldn't want to let him go for free in 2024. There are no rumors around at the moment, but I do expect him to make a move to become the number one somewhere after too many seasons without playing football on a regular basis.