Apr 23, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
In the aftermath of Aston Villa’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday, which leaves Villa loitering around the relegation zone, you could forgive USMNT ‘keeper Brad Guzan for being a bit downbeat.
But he should be all smiles. After a season where Guzan has flourished as an EPL regular, the former Chivas USA star now ranks among the best goalkeepers in the league, according to these stats.
Guzan is top in four categories, accurate goal kicks (196), percentage of saves in the box (68.2%), successful high claims (82) and the brilliant named category, successful smothers (10).
But if Aston Villa are relegated, should Guzan remain loyal to the team who gave him a shot in the EPL? No doubt there will be plenty of suitors waiting to pounce for Guzan’s signature if Villa do drop down to the Championship. However, Guzan has waited a long time to claim the No. 1 jersey at Villa Park, so he may stick around regardless.
A few EPL teams do spring to mind as possible destinations for Guzan, when you scroll through the ‘keepers they currently have on their roster. Arsenal are the team that stands out most, with both Wojciech Szczęsny and Łukasz Fabiański struggling to claim the starters spot at the Emirates. Could they swoop for Guzan in the summer? Elsewhere, Fulham have ageing Australian Mark Schwarzer in goal but could do with a new No.1 at Craven Cottage. And we all know Fulham love to sign a USMNT player.
So it turns out whether or not Guzan does keep Aston Villa in the EPL, this season has been a breakout year that will shape the rest of his career. The long-line of US ‘keepers in the EPL looks set to continue, in Guzan’s safe hands. But it may not be with Villa.
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