Safe Hands: 7 Alternative Contenders for the 2017/18 Premier League Golden Glove

Back in 2005, it was decided that the shot stoppers would be recognised at the end of the Premier League season, and the Golden Glove trophy was created to reward the keeper with the most clean sheets in the campaign. Invariably, this award has gone to keepers from the top teams in the league, with only stoppers from Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool having claimed the honour since its inception over a decade ago. Of course, this tends to happen with a lot of...

Ben Foster - West Bromwich Albion

Now a veteran of the game, 34-year-old Foster has proven himself a reliable option between the sticks during his impressive career. Having remained a constant source of stability at West Bromwich Albion for six seasons now, the 6'4 stopper is flourishing under Tony Pulis' defensively rigid style of play.

The Baggies will be likely to keep it tight again next season, grinding out results on the counter attack with an emphasis on disciplined defending. Foster's experience makes him a strong option in goal, providing an ideal combination for clean sheets next season.

Jordan Pickford - Everton

As the most expensive British goalkeeper in history, you would have to hope that Pickford can keep a few clean sheets for Everton this season. Rising to prominence after excelling behind a Sunderland defensive unit about as unified as Korea, Pickford stole the headlines with a season of stunning saves.

Widely tipped as England's future number one, Pickford will certainly have a more robust defence in-front of him this season, affording him far more security. 

The 23-year-old is more than ready to make the step-up, and will be right up there with the top keepers in the league in the battle for the Golden Glove.

Joe Hart - West Ham United

Returning to the Premier League after being exiled to Torino for a year by parent club Manchester City, Joe Hart will be desperate to prove himself as a top keeper in his native land this season.

We mustn't forget that Hart remains England boss Gareth Southgate's number one goalkeeper, and boasts an impressive four Golden Glove awards racked up during his heyday with Manchester City. Only Premier League veteran Petr Čech has won as many.

Hart unquestionably still has a good few seasons left in him, and his desire to regain his reputation will certainly work in his favour during the upcoming campaign with the Hammers.

Simon Mignolet - Liverpool

While selecting a Liverpool player amongst a string of choices from weaker teams could be deemed as controversial, a quick jolt back to memories of the Reds' defensive performances last season immediately justifies the pick.

Admittedly, Arsenal did ship two more goals than the Merseyside club last season, but it was the keeping capers of Mignolet that made all the headlines.

On his day, Mignolet is a superb shot-stopper, and Reds' boss Jürgen Klopp is likely to keep the faith with the Belgian this season - hoping that player can put his rather calamitous history behind him with a spell of consistency.

Fraser Forster - Southampton

The closest contender outwith the 'big sides' in the Premier League last season, Forster played every single league match for Southampton, enhancing his reputation as a 6'7 shot-stopping sensation.

A towering figure between the posts, the 29-year-old has been unlucky to claim just six England caps in his career thus far. Forster's clean sheet record was superb last season, especially considering his side could only finish eighth in the league. 

An ever-impressive number one, Forster is more than capable of winning the Golden Glove award this season.

Tom Heaton - Burnley

Another English keeper to breakout in the 2016/17 season, Heaton excelled for Burnley in their league campaign, proving a pilar of stability at the back of a water-tight defensive unit.

Alongside his impressively relentless devotion to dour press conference appearances, Burnley boss Sean Dyche has demonstrated himself as somewhat of a defensive mastermind.

The Clarets are likely to operate in a similar manner this season, and Heaton will feel confident that his defenders will offer him protection ahead of making forays up the field. The 31-year-old has waited a long-time to be recognised as a top English keeper, and the 2017/18 season could see the stopper have his best campaign yet.

Asmir Begović - Bournemouth

Tired of warming the bench at Stamford Bridge, Begović made the bold move to become a regular starter again with a move south to Eddie Howe's plucky Bournemouth side.

The big Bosnian has been plying his trade in the Premier League for donkeys' years, and his experience in the competition puts him in good stead for a glut of clean sheets this season.

While Bournemouth are known for their attacking style of play, Howe will be wary of his side's desperate need to shore up their defence, and Begović is just the man they need to protect the goal with gusto.

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