Maignan, Szczesny or Rui Patricio: Who Is the Top Serie A Goalkeeper?

With the Serie A campaign having drawn its final breath, the Cult of Calcio launches a new series aimed towards recognizing the best performers from the 2021/22 season in each playing position.

The first piece of business is anointing the best between the posts. So in this installment we’ll choose the best goalkeeper in Serie A throughout the current campaign.

We begin by naming five candidates based on alphabetic order before finally handing the verdict.

Mike Maignan (Milan)

Is there another Serie A who had bigger shoes (or gloves) to fill?

When Gianluigi Donnarumma signed for Paris Saint Germain as a free agent, Milan lost the man who had just been crowned as the best player in Euro 2020.

Therefore, Mike Maignan had an uphill battle from the get-go. Aside from having to establish himself at one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe, he also had to prove himself as a capable replacement for one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Nonetheless, the former Lille shot-stopper has successfully led the Rossoneri’s title charge from the back. His reaction saves have been paramount in securing slight victories, but the unexpected surprise package is his on-the-ball skills, as he often helps in building up the play, and even registering an assist against Sampdoria.

Donnarumma’s name has become a distant memory at Milan much faster than expected.

Rui Patricio (Roma)

Since the departure of Alisson Becker in 2018, Roma have been struggling to find a consistent and reliable custodian between the posts. Of course José Mourinho wasn’t going to let the matter escape him, so he and sporting director Tiago Pinto decided to address it by resorting to their own compatriot.

Even though the Giallorossi’s campaign has been anything but perfect, the situation would have definitely been substantially worse if it wasn’t for Rui Patricio and his safe pair of hands.

The experienced Portuguese is a strong, resilient and vocal character behind the team’s backline, and has proven to be a reassuring presence in goal for the capital side.

Lukasz Skorupski (Bologna)

Since setting foot in Italy for the first time in 2013, Lukasz Skorupski has been slowly but surely making a reputation for himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in Serie A.

From an understudy at Roma to a temporary spell at Empoli, the path hasn’t been easy for the Pole, but he finally found his niche at Bologna. In the past few seasons, he’s been one of the most criminally underrated players in Calcio, but he’s finally earning the recognition that he undoubtedly deserves this season.

During the final stretch of the campaign, the Emilian side has transformed into an impregnable fortress in the face of the biggest sides in Serie A, securing draws against Milan, Juventus and Roma, while shocking Inter in a 2-1 win which ultimately spelled the downfall of the reigning champions. But none of these results would have been possible if it wasn’t for the heroics of the guardian between the posts.

Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus)

Following a horrendous start to the campaign filled with costly howlers, one wouldn’t expect Wojciech Szczesny to be on the shortlist for the best goalkeeper in Serie A. Nevertheless, the former Arsenal man managed to retain his composure and act as a protagonist in Juve’s undefeated league run between December and March.

In Mattia Perin, the Bianconeri possess arguably the best second choice shot-stopper in Italy, but the Polish custodian has been able to ward off the competition and keep his understudy in the rear-view mirror.

Guglielmo Vicario (Empoli)

At the start of the season, no one would have thought that Guglielmo Vicario would even be in the discussion. In fact, most of us haven’t even heard his name prior to the current campaign.

But as it’s often the case at Empoli, the Tuscans are experts when it comes to launching young players towards stardom. The Serie A newcomers introduced a host of young and exciting talent to the Calcio world, and the 25-year-old custodian is undoubtedly one of them.

While Aurelio Andreazzoli’s progressive style football ensures a remarkably high number of goals on both ends, the Azzurri would have conceded even more if it wasn’t for Vicario’s impressive feat between the sticks.


After showcasing the claim of each of the five candidates, it’s time to pick the ultimate winner.

While Vicario and Skorupski both enjoyed successful campaigns, their respective sides have been leaking goals at the back which doesn’t help their cases. As for Rui Patricio, his arrival has definitely been a great addition for Roma, but his performances weren’t enough to warrant him the title of the best Serie A goalkeeper.

For his part, Szczesny’s solid displays played a great part in the Old Lady’s mid-season resurgence, just as his early howlers had sabotaged his team’s title challenge from the get-go, leaving a major stain on his claim.

Therefore, Mike Maignan has proven to be head and shoulders above his peers during his inaugural Italian campaign. Beside a sub-par outing in Salerno, it’s hard to recall a poor performance from the Frenchman this season. Instead, he’s been incredibly reliable at the back, pulling off a string of extraordinary saves while his skills on the ball would put Donnarumma to shame.

In conclusion, Big Mike is – in our humble opinion – the best goalkeeper in Serie A this season. Would you agree with our verdict? Tell us what you think!