So rather than using metrics that might not capture these variables, we can simulate each goalkeeper for every shot, then compare who would concede the fewest goals. To do this, we must be able to accurately simulate how one keeper would manage against another keeper’s shots – or better yet, how each keeper would perform against every shot in a uniform sample. That’s exactly what we’ll do here.
The following table shows an unsurprising duo at the top. When measured against the same shot sample of 2,754 shots from the 2018/19 season, David de Gea and Alisson are capable of saving a team more than a goal every four matches. They truly are season-altering shot-stoppers for any club: