Who are the top young goalkeepers across Europe?

You may have noticed that there were no goalkeepers in our annual list of the 39 best players under the age of 21 in April. But that’s not a huge surprise. The goalkeeper is a position that requires experience, and it is not often that a youngster is thrust into the spotlight so early in their career — with Gianluigi Donnarumma (who was handed his AC Milan debut aged 16 before he joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2021) a notable exception from recent years.

So who are the next generation of top goalkeepers? A number of major clubs, notably Chelsea and Manchester City, could be looking to sign the next big thing in the coming years. Here are five players under the age of 23 who are ready to make the step up now, and five teenagers to keep an eye on in the future.

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Despite his age, Mamardashvili recently reached 100 starting appearances for Valencia, and his development in a team who have seen many changes — especially defensively — has been of great help to the Spanish side.

Mamardashvili’s main appeal is his 6-foot-6 stature. He has an enormous reach and the imposing presence of an old-school goalkeeper, but he has also become increasingly modern in style. While his footwork is not yet of the quality to allow him to be used as a playmaker in the form of Manuel Neuer, Alisson or Éderson — he touches the ball only 15 times per 90 minutes — he’s improving in that department and has a lot of power in his ball striking.

That doesn’t stop him from being active, though; one of his top attributes is his ability to move the ball on quickly, with a good sense of timing and anticipation. His tremendous size also makes him an expert catcher of crosses, yet it doesn’t prevent him from reaching low shots or extending his body horizontally. He should be one to watch for Georgia at Euro 2024.

Another hugely impressive goalkeeping throwback, the Ukraine international is also 6-foot-6 and has been a revelation in his debut season for Benfica as he kept 19 clean sheets in all competitions. Much like Mamardashvili, Trubin might not be the most active in terms of playing out from the back, yet when he’s called upon to deal with a back pass he’s usually safe in his distribution (90% accuracy), while his longer efforts are also executed with precision.

But when it comes to stopping shots and goal-line work, Trubin stands out. When closing down an opponent, he narrows the angle well and often makes low saves with his feet — almost in the mould of a goalkeeper in the sport of handball. He covers ground on both sides of his goal and his reflexes are impressive too, as illustrated by his four penalty saves for Benfica this season.

Trubin’s mentality is another point worth mentioning: he always appears calm and measured, keeping focused on the task at hand.

With 150 senior games between Serie A and Serie B to his name, the former Italy under-21 international has already accumulated a wealth of experience. Due to Gian Piero Gasperini’s rotation system at Atalanta, Carnesecchi only saw one match in the successful Europa League campaign this season — with Juan Musso being selected — but he was the No. 1 choice in the league and Coppa Italia.

Carnesecchi is highly regarded for his mature and calm style of goalkeeping. He doesn’t take excessive risks, especially when coming off his line, and rarely feels the urge to exaggerate his saves for the TV cameras.

Atalanta’s aggressive style needs a goalkeeper who is well-positioned to start a counter-attack and avert danger early. The youngster also boasted one of the best save percentages in Serie A last season (77%).

The Sweden-born Denmark U21 international has enjoyed a fabulous first season as a regular for Villarreal, having made just two starts prior to the 2023-24 campaign.

To say that Jørgensen was busy is no understatement. Thanks to a shaky defence and midfield that likes to attack, Villarreal conceded a remarkable 532 shots, which makes the fact they finished eighth in LaLiga a minor miracle. And, despite conceding 63 goals (he missed two games when another two went in), Jørgensen made an astounding 147 saves at a rate of 3.66 per 90 minutes.

While his stats are somewhat compromised by the negative numbers, he still looks like a goalkeeper with exceptional reflexes. He’s extremely agile and gets up quickly off the ground to recover when needed — indeed, spectacular double-saves have become something of a signature skill. As a result, it’s no surprise that he’s generating a lot of transfer interest, including from the likes of Chelsea.

Competing for Brighton’s No. 1 spot with Jason Steele — who tops the Premier League ranking for reflex saves per 90 minutes with 73% — Verbruggen has yet to show why he was one of Europe’s most-coveted goalkeepers prior to his €20 million move last summer.

Yet in a turbulent, injury-plagued season there were still glimpses of his potential as he conceded 33 times in 27 games across all competitions. Arguably his best performance came in a 2-1 defeat away at Liverpool in March, in which his low reaction save from Mohamed Salah‘s close-range effort was nothing short of spectacular.

With one of the best scouting operations in the business, Brighton obviously signed the Netherlands international primarily for his compatibility to their passing style. Few U21 goalkeepers in a top European league see as much time on the ball as Verbruggen — 27 passes per 90 minutes last season — and his quality distribution from the back (87% accuracy) is vital for a team that want to dominate possession.

Teenagers to watch

Guillaume Restes, 19, Toulouse

An aggressive and proactive goalkeeper who was entrusted with a regular slot for Toulouse in Ligue 1 this season. The France U21 and under-23 international has been tipped for a bright future and was given the honour of being a torch carrier for his country at the opening ceremony of this summer’s Paris Olympics.

James Beadle, 19, Brighton (on loan at Sheffield Wednesday)

The 6-foot-6 England under-20 international put in some inspiring displays towards the latter part of the season to help Sheffield Wednesday secure their Championship status. But he has yet to make his debut for Brighton.

Noah Raveyre, 18, AC Milan

Impressive for both France under-19s and the AC Milan Primavera side, Raveyre catches the eye with his great reflexes, calmness and fine distribution.

Plamen Andreev, 19, Levski Sofia

A powerful, vocal and charismatic goalkeeper with over 70 senior games for Levski Sofia already, Andreev made his first-team debut at 16. He has also captained his club side and has already been called up to the Bulgaria senior national team.

Filip Sidklev, 19, Brommapojkarna

The Sweden U21 international is astonishingly good with his feet — illustrated by a 68% completion rate for his long passes — and is a regular at the top level in Sweden. He has already been scouted by several big European clubs.