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5 best U-25 goalkeepers in the world

Gianluigi Donnarumma in action
Gianluigi Donnarumma in action
Abhinav Anand
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While the likes of Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer, Paris Saint-Germain's Keylor Navas and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak continue to impress with their performances, it is only a matter of time before the young stars take their place.

Modern goalkeepers are required to not only be good shot-stoppers, but also good passers who start the attack. Young goalkeepers are now technically strong and composed on the ball.

As Chelsea found out with Kepa, finding the correct goalkeeper is extremely important. That is why teams are willing to splash the cash on young shot-stoppers, as we have seen with Liverpool and Alisson, as well as Manchester City and Ederson.

5 best U-25 goalkeepers in the world


#5 Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao)

Unai Simon in action for Athletic Bilbao
Unai Simon in action for Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao sold Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea for a fee of Β£72 million, and replaced him with Unai Simon, a product of their academy.

Simon has established himself as the starting goalkeeper for Athletic Bilbao and has impressed with his passing and reflexes. The 23-year old has made 81 appearances in all competitions for Athletic Bilbao so far. Simon has made 33 appearances in all competitions this season.

With both Kepa and Manchester United's David de Gea not getting enough playing time, Simon could start for Spain at the Euros this summer. If the Spain international irons out the inconsistencies in his game, he has a bright future.


#4 Bartlomiej Dragowski (Fiorentina)

Bartlomiej Dragowski looks on
Bartlomiej Dragowski looks on

Like Unai Simon, Bartlomiej Dragowski has established himself as the starting goalkeeper for his side over the past couple of seasons.

Dragowski joined Fiorentina from Jagiellonia Bialystok in 2016 for a fee of Β£2.25 million. A backup option when he joined the club, the 23-year old joined Empoli on loan in January 2019, producing some good performances. This included the 17 saves he made in a game against Atalanta, a Serie A record.

The Poland international returned to Fiorentina that summer and became the first-choice goalkeeper. He has made 68 appearances in all competitions for the club. Dragowski has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund recently.


Also Read: 5 best U-25 midfielders in the world right now


#3 Illan Meslier (Leeds United)

Illan Meslier has impressed for Leeds United
Illan Meslier has impressed for Leeds United

Leeds United have been an exciting team to watch in the Premier League this season and Illan Meslier has been one of the shining lights for them.

Mesler initially joined Leeds United on a loan deal from Lorient in 2019. While he wasn't a consistent starter that season, Leeds United signed him permanently in 2020 for a fee of around Β£6 million, and that decision has paid dividends this season.

A tall, athletic shot-stopper, Meslier has done well in a Leeds United side that has often focussed on free-flowing attacks more than defense. The 21-year old has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, while there have been suggestions that Leeds United are going to offer him a new contract.


#2 Dean Henderson (Manchester United)

Dean Henderson before a Manchester United game
Dean Henderson before a Manchester United game

While it was a difficult decision to drop David de Gea, Dean Henderson's performances deserved a sustained run as the starting goalkeeper.

A product of the Manchester United academy, Henderson made his name at Sheffield United, where he spent two seasons on loan. While a return to Manchester United last summer was always on the cards, there were doubts as to whether he would be able to replace de Gea.

The 24-year old has done so for now. His recent performances have been good, while his sweeping ability has stood out. Henderson is now the starter for Manchester United in the Premier League, and the England international has what it takes to be one of the best in the world.


#1 Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)

Gianluigi Donnarumma is only 22
Gianluigi Donnarumma is only 22

Given how long he has been around for, it is sometimes hard to digest that Gianluigi Donnarumma is only 22 years old.

Donnarumma made his debut for AC Milan aged 16, and has been their starter ever since. He has already made 244 appearances in all competitions for AC Milan, and has won acclaim for his calmness, intelligence and consistent performances.

The Italy international's AC Milan contract expires in the summer and multiple top clubs have shown an interest. Juventus, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are all tracking one of the best young players in the world.


Also Read: 5 richest football club owners in the world right now (2021)

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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