The stat that puts Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois ahead of Manchester United’s David de Gea

David De Gea Spain

David De Gea has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season, except in one key area.

There is no denying that the Spaniard has been the standout goalkeeper this campaign, with his shot stopping ability being much of the reason the Red Devils are sat inside the top four.

Single handedly keeping his side in games, the 24-year-old has been remarkably responsible for United’s stabilisation under Louis van Gaal, and his form has seen him linked with a return to Spain, with Real Madrid keen on poaching him away from Old Trafford with his contract expiring at the end of next season.

However, when the season started, all the focus was on Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, who was set to make his first appearance at Stamford Bridge since originally transferring to the club in 2011. A three-year loan with Atletico Madrid has seen the 22-year-old win La Liga, the Europa League and reach the Champions League Final, whilst also claiming two Zamora trophies as his own.

Many were expecting him to enter the Premier League and retain his place as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. and whilst enjoying a good season, it has been the form of De Gea that has seen the Belgian international fall by the wayside.

Despite De Gea’s form, there is one are where Courtois has proven his excellence - his ability to claim crosses.

Renowned for his nonchalance in the penalty area, Courtois hardly ever looks flustered when rushing out to claim the ball, and he has an incredible 100% record for claiming crosses this season, despite the more physical play of centre-forwards in the Premier League. He has successfully caught all 51 of the crosses faced this season, as per HLN, and has also won a further four punches in side the box.

De Gea similarly has a 100% record for cross claiming, but he has attempted just 12 - a much lower tally than Courtois.

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