The modern goalkeeper is expected to be both a world-class shot-stopper and a potential catalyst for attacks, playing out from the back with quality distribution and passing.
This page takes a look at the very best goalkeepers in FM 21, with Alisson, Manuel Neuer, and Jan Oblak being among the very best in the game.
We’ll be choosing the best keepers based on them having a minimum 160 current ability and taking into account their upside by considering their best attributes and potential ability as well.
At the foot of the article, you’ll find a full list of all the best goalkeepers in FM21.
Manuel Neuer (CA 178 – PA 193)
Team: Bayern Munich
Wage: £325,000 per week
Value: £28 million
Best Attributes: 20 Composure, 20 Rushing Out, 19 Throwing
Manuel Neuer stands alone at the summit of keepers in the modern game, largely due to his ability to distribute and feed possession of the ball out from the back. He continues to hold the best current (178) and potential (193) abilities among goalies in the game.
While Neuer doesn’t boast the best handling, communication, or aerial reach attributes, he is blessed with great command of his area (17), decision making (16), and anticipation (19) on top of his tremendous composure (20) and ability to rush oncoming attacking threats. This mix makes him an ideal attacking sweeper-keeper, and he should fit perfectly into any side looking to play out from the back or move possession fluidly.
Neuer has spent his whole career in the German Bundesliga, having started out at boyhood club Schalke 04 as a youth team prospect before moving to Bayern Munich in June 2011 in a £27 million shift. He added a further 46 appearances to his impressive 433 caps for Bayern at the age of 35 this past season.
Alisson (CA 175 – PA 180)
Wage: £120,000 per week
Value: £55 million
Best Attributes: 19 Determination, 18 Positioning, 18 Composure
Another gloveman with tremendous composure, Alisson combines very similar attributes to Neuer with a high current ability of 175, and room to grow up to 180 to surpass our first choice on this list.
In a similar mould, Alisson is best deployed as a sweeper-keeper but tends to play a more supporting role rather than looking to attack, which is built on his marvellous reflexes (17), one-on-ones (18), and positioning (18). Alisson also benefits from good passing (16) and first touch (16) numbers, which allow him to slot into a few different formations and styles of play as a versatile keeper.
Liverpool confirmed their capture of the Brazilian keeper in July 2018, having agreed to a fee of £66.25 million with Italian giants Roma, where he’d managed 26 clean sheets in 64 games. He returned a further ten league clean sheets and a wonder goal of his own during the 2020/21 campaign for Liverpool, although he wasn’t able to replicate the form that helped them to the Premier League title a year prior.
Jan Oblak (CA 175 – PA 178)
Team: Atlético Madrid
Wage: £275,000 per week
Value: £50 million
Best Attributes: 19 Reflexes, 18 Handling, 17 Composure
The highest-ranked ‘traditional goalkeeper’ on the list, Jan Oblak, is about as sturdy as you’ll find in the game today. At 27-years-old, he’s hit a current ability of 175 and is very close to his peak, with his potential ability only slightly higher at 178.
With his reflexes (19), handling (18), command of area (16), composure (17), and decision making (17), we can safely say that Oblak is one of the better defensive keepers in FM 21, and is able to add concentration (16) to ensure that he is rarely beaten. He likes to use a long throw to start counter-attacks, too, so he is certainly able to fulfil the sort of role that many managers are trying to squeeze out of their goalies.
Having started out at Slovenian club NK Olimpija Ljubljana before a 2010 move to Benfica, Oblak has cemented himself as Atlético’s go-to goalie since joining in July 2014. It’s here that he’s gone to mount his case as one of the best keepers in world football, notching 303 appearances and keeping 159 clean sheets. A good 18 of these clean sheets came in 38 La Liga appearances in 2020/21, which greatly helped the underdogs claim the title.
Marc-André ter Stegen (CA 174 – PA 183)
Wage: £150,000 per week
Value: £49.5 million
Best Attributes: 19 Kicking, 18 Reflexes, 18 Composure
Tall and agile, Ter Stegen has a good command of his area and a stoic presence at the back. The German boasts a good current ability rating of 174 and the potential to rise to 183 to become one of the very best keepers in the world.
Barcelona’s top goalie has strong reflexes (18), command of area (15), communication (15), and anticipation (17) ratings, which couple perfectly with his ability as an out-and-out shot-stopper. He is also able to play a supporting role as a sweeper-keeper very effectively, utilising his passing (17), kicking (19), and throwing (17) to kick-start counter-attacks.
Having begun his professional career at hometown club Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2010, Ter Stegen made a move to Spanish giants Barcelona in May 2014 for a relatively cheap £10.8 million transfer fee. Since then, he’s gone on to amass 114 clean sheets in 278 appearances – including 14 clean sheets in 42 games across all competitions last season.
Thibaut Courtois (CA 172 – PA 183)
Team: Real Madrid
Wage: £275,000 per week
Value: £50 million
Best Attributes: 19 Aerial Reach, 19 Jumping Reach, 18 Reflexes
Blessed with tremendous reflexes, a solid current ability (172), and plenty of room to improve with a high potential ability (183), Thibaut Courtois lives up to his billing in FM 21.
Courtois has an astonishing aerial reach (19) thanks to his lanky frame and great reflexes (18), which make him an imposing gloveman in one-on-ones or set pieces. His positioning (16) and jumping reach (19) mean that he boasts a good command of his area (16) and the ability to act as either a shot-stopper or a marshal of the defence.
Currently at Spanish giants Real Madrid, Courtois made a move to the Bernabeu from Chelsea in August 2018 on a mammoth six-year contract worth a reported £50 million over the life of the deal. Since then, he has accumulated 129 appearances for the club, notching 52 clean sheets.
Ederson (CA 168 – PA 180)
Team: Manchester City
Wage: £100,000 per week
Value: £49.5 million
Best Attributes: 20 Kicking, 18 Bravery, 18 Passing
While Ederson Santana de Moraes, more commonly known as Ederson, has a solid base with a current ability of 168, it’s the potential ability of 180 that will excite FM 21 managers.
Ederson’s best attributes are definitely geared more toward utilising him as a sweeper-keeper, with his kicking (20), passing (18), composure (17), and technique (17) giving him the ability to leave his area and ball-play as well as any keeper in the game. His key goalkeeping statistics, however, could definitely use some work, with aerial reach (13), command of area (15), communication (13), and decisions (15) slightly lower than the best shot-stoppers around.
Having joined Manchester City from Benfica in June 2017 for £36 million – at the time, becoming the second-most expensive goalkeeper ever – he has gone on to make 192 appearances for the reigning English champions. In that time, he’s landed 95 clean sheets and won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, four English League Cups, and two Community Shields.
Wojciech Szczęsny (CA 165 – PA 169)
Wage: £210,000 per week
Value: £38 million
Best Attributes: 18 Composure, 18 Jumping Reach, 18 One-On-Ones
At 30-years-old, Wojciech Szczęsny has a good five or six years left at the peak of his powers in FM 21, with his potential to develop from his current ability (165) fairly limited. That said, he represents a very handy, technical shot-stopper who could be available for a fairly hefty investment.
Szczęsny’s aerial reach (16), handling (18), reflexes (17), and composure (18) make him an absolute rock behind the Juventus defence as either a very handy defensive goalkeeper or an attacking sweeper-keeper if required. This is underpinned by quality one-on-ones (18), agility (16), and bravery (16), which make him a versatile option at the back.
After moving to Juventus in July 2017, the former Arsenal man fell into place as the heir apparent to club legend Gianluigi Buffon. The Polish goalie has since gone on to secure the number-one role, making 137 appearances for the Old Lady, notching 54 clean sheets and resurrecting a reputation that was in tatters when he left North London.
All of the best goalkeepers (GK) in FM21
Here’s a full list of all of the top goalies in Football Manager 2021, with them all boasting a current ability rating of at least 160.
|Name||Age||CA||PA||Wage (p/w)||Value||Best Attributes||Team|
|Manuel Neuer||34||178||193||£325,000||£28 million||20 Composure, 20 Rushing Out, 19 Throwing||Bayern Munich|
|Alisson||27||175||180||£120,000||£55 million||19 Determination, 18 Positioning, 18 Composure||Liverpool|
|Jan Oblak||27||175||178||£275,000||£50 million||19 Reflexes, 18 Handling, 17 Composure||Atlético Madrid|
|Marc-André ter Stegen||28||174||183||£150,000||£49.5 million||19 Kicking, 18 Reflexes, 18 Composure||Barcelona|
|Thibaut Courtois||28||172||183||£275,000||£50 million||19 Aerial Reach, 19 Jumping Reach, 18 Reflexes||Real Madrid|
|Ederson||26||168||180||£100,000||£49.5 million||20 Kicking, 18 Bravery, 18 Passing||Manchester City|
|Wojciech Szczęsny||30||165||169||£210,000||£38 million||18 Composure, 18 Jumping Reach, 18 One-On-Ones||Juventus|
|Samir Handanovič||36||162||163||£105,000||£6.5 million||20 Reflexes, 18 Communication, 18 Natural Fitness||Inter Milan|
|Keylor Navas||33||161||167||£210,000||£26.5 million||19 Reflexes, 17 Concentration, 17 Agility||Paris Saint-Germain|
|Gianluigi Donnarumma||21||160||182||£195,000||£28 million||18 Jumping Reach, 18 Reflexes, 16 Aerial Reach||AC Milan|
If you’re looking for the right gloveman to start playing out from the back, or the best shot-stopper available, be sure to pick up one of the best goalkeepers in FM21 listed above.
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