Stefan Ortega fan club.

13 second-choice goalkeepers who are too good to warm the subs bench: Ortega, Kelleher…

It takes a certain type of mentality to be a backup keeper. You have to train hard, remain part of the group, not go completely insane from sitting on the bench most of the time, and then turn it on in front of millions when your time comes.

We’ve got a big soft spot for them. We also have a soft spot for third-choice keepers, especially semi-retired British goalies making up the numbers at big clubs so that they can fulfil their homegrown quota for European competitions. But that’s another article for another time.

We delved into the respective squad lists of every football club in the world (we didn’t) to put together a comprehensive list of the best goalkeeping understudies in the game – get these keepers some minutes before they go insane and we all feel the consequences.

Stefan Ortega

Ortega looks like Ederson 2.0 every time he plays and might not be a backup for much longer at this rate.. Same style, same approach to the game. Joined up thinking from Pep. It’s actually quite freakish.

For as good as Ederson is, though, to suggest that Ortega should actually displace him as number one at City isn’t actually as mad as it sounds. At all. The German 31-year-old still has his best years ahead of him, is freakishly good with his feet and appears to be a cooler operator than the Brazilian.

He also Cruyff turns strikers in his own six-yard box, which is sickening to watch, but also takes a sh*t-tonne of ability. We deserve to see him every week.

Caoimhin Kelleher

Straight off the bat — Jurgen’s favourite, League Cup winner, surely a future number one for a big team, or the successor to Alisson Becker when the Brazilian hangs up his gloves. Kelleher is up there with the best twos on Earth, but he’s got competition.

Aaron Ramsdale

You have got to feel for Ramsdale. The internet has unofficially diagnosed the Englishman with ADHD and, for some reason, seems to think that means he can’t be a goalkeeper, despite the fact he’s an England international, has played in the Champions League, and had a fantastic first two seasons with Arsenal.

Fourteen clean sheets last season. Best defence in the league. And now, Ramsdale is watching David Raya from the bench. Justice for Aaron.

Lukasz Fabianski

West Ham’s second choice has been a wonderful servant to the club, recently ousted by the wonderfully named Alphonse Areola. It is nip and tuck in the race to be a big-time number one.

Lukasz Fabianski #1 of West Ham United

Lukasz Fabianski out in the cold at West Ham

Andriy Lunin

A permanent FM wonderkid in our collective brain, the Ukrainian has spent the last three years deputising at Real Madrid, and is now finally getting a run in the first team.

It’s all going pretty well so far, as Los Blancos have risen back to the top of La Liga with Lunin in net. He’s still only 25, and a great career could be, after long last, opening up in front of him.

Martin Dubravka

The Toon’s pre-takeover first choice was somewhat of a hero in the Bruceyball era, bailing the Geordies out and just about helping to keep them in the Prem.

Newcastle tend to play a little higher up the pitch, these days, and since Nick Pope’s injury, Newcastle have been considerably leakier at the back. Dubravka is still a superb shot-stopper and would be brilliant in a more defence-oriented side.

Shoutout Steve Harper, by the way — who would 100% be on this list if he hadn’t retired almost a decade ago.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Technically a third choice, now. We’re being naughty.

Kepa is on loan in Madrid and initially replaced the injured Thibault Courtois, but after a brief groin injury at the end of last year, Lunin has made the goalkeeper spot his own, and Kepa, once again, finds himself on the bench.

Bags of experience at the highest level puts him firmly on our list, though.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every goalkeeper to play for Chelsea in the Premier League?


Keylor Navas

A genuinely world-class goalie with an arguably even better goalie ahead of him in the team. He must hate Gigi Donnarumma.

Geronimo Rulli

Rulli is another Football Manager favourite and, more importantly, he’s called Geronimo. Superb goalkeeper name. Remember when people used to shout GERONIMOOOO before jumping off something? Bring that back.

The Argentine properly broke into Estudiantes’ first team at 21, and went 588 minutes without conceding a goal in the Argentinian top flight.

Pick him up on the cheap and you don’t have to think about buying a keeper for the next fifteen seasons. Love you forever, GR.

Fraser Forster

A 6’7″ Geordie once tipped to become one of the best in the world by Gigi Buffon.

Never quite reached those heights (one of the only things he couldn’t reach — because he’s so tall… that’s why that’s funny. You know what? Forget it.) but has had a career to be very proud of, and a keeper that opposition forwards would not be happy to see come on as a sub.

Sven Ulreich

Bit of a rogue shout, perhaps, but the veteran was a first-team regular at Stuttgart for seven seasons in a row before his move to Bavaria.

Ulreich made 29 appearances in (another) title-winning season for Bayern 2017-18 and, crucially, is now in his mid-30s, meaning he’s likely fairly content with deputising for the great Manuel Neuer when needed.

Dean Henderson

Henderson has bags of talent but simply cannot nail down a first-team position for any significant length of time. The number two’s number two.

Djordje Petrovic

We have a lot of time for an interesting career path here at Planet Football. Petrovic arrived at the Bridge via the Serbian Superliga and a couple of seasons in MLS with the New England Revolution.

The 24-year-old has performed admirably since taking over from the injured Robert Sanchez, and may not be a number two for much longer.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 17 goalkeepers with 100+ PL clean sheets?