It’s not new to hear that an English team has signed a Spanish goalkeeper. Since 2004, 14 have played in the Premier League.
Young Spanish ‘keepers have seen big opportunities in the English leagues, and that is why many come very young to the Premier League and develop as professional players.
This table shows at what age the goalkeepers came to England. From the youngest goalkeeper playing in the English league to the oldest one.
|Name||Age||Team / s||Season|
|Robert Sánchez||19||Brighton & Hove Forest Green AFC Rochdale||2016 – now 2018 (loan) 2019 – (loan)|
|David De Gea||21||Manchester United||2011 – now|
|Pau López||21||Tottenham Hotspur||2016 – 2017|
|Joel Robles||22||Wigan F.C Everton||2013 (loan) 2013 – 2018|
|Pepe Reina||23|| Liverpool F.C |
Aston Villa F.C.
| 2005 – 2013|
|Kepa Arrizabalaga||23||Chelsea F.C||2018 – now|
|Sergio Rico||24||Fulham F.C||2018 – 2019|
|Adrián San Miguel||26||West Ham United Liverpool F.C||2013 – 2019 2019 – now|
|Manuel Almunia||27||Arsenal F.C West Ham United Watford F.C||2004 – 2011 2011 – 2012 2012 – 2014|
|Fabricio Martin||29||Fulham F.C||2018 – 2019|
|Vicente Guaita||30||Crystal Palace F.C||2018 – now|
|Kiko Casilla||31||Leeds United F.C||2018 – now|
|Víctor Valdés||32||Manchester United Middlesbrough F.C||2014 – 2016 2016 – 2017|
|Ricardo López||32||Manchester United||2004 – 2005|
|Roberto Jiménez||33||West Ham United||2019 – now|
|César Sánchez||37||Tottenham Hotspur||2008 – 2009|
Spanish goalkeepers have shown plenty of talent talent, and two are on the list of 15 Premier League ‘keepers with 100 or more clean sheets. In sixth position former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina with 134 shut-outs, and in last position of the list is Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea with 104.
This table shows how many appearances the goalkeepers have had during their careers in England.
|David De Gea||358|
|Adrián San Miguel||289|
|Robert Jiménez Gago||8|
|Ricardo López Felipe||5|
The Premier League is popular around the world, and this has been reflected in the variety of nationalities among its goalkeepers. But arguably its the Spanish ones who have captured the essence of the top division.
The first Spanish goalkeepers arrived in 2004, and this next list picks out some of the notable ones and when they began their careers in England:
2004 – Manuel Almunia – Arsenal
2004 – Ricardo López – Manchester United
2005 – Pepe Reina – Liverpool
2008 – César Sánchez – Tottenham Hotspur
2011 – David De Gea – Manchester United
2012 – Joel Robles – Wigan F.C
As the years have passed, Spanish ‘keepers playing in England have gone from being a bit of a novelty to a mainstay of the Premier League.
Current Spanish national team goalkeepers David De Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga, play here, following in the footsteps of other La Roja ‘keepers such as Pepe Reina and Victor Valdés.
This table shows how many Spanish goalkeepers have been playing in professional English teams down the years:
A dozen high-level teams have had Spanish goalkeepers during one or more seasons. This five teams are the ones that had a bigger number of them:
Manchester United – 3
West Ham United – 3
Tottenham Hotspur – 2
Liverpool – 2
Fulham – 2
With a good number of Spanish managers plying their trade in the Premier League, European football’s highest salaries on offer, and the global reach of the English top flight, the flow of goalkeepers from Spain to the UK looks set to continue…