Alan Smith: 'Shay Given would have been right up there with Ederson and Alisson'

Alan Smith: 'Shay Given would have been right up there with Ederson and Alisson'

Former Manchester United midfielder Alan Smith believes that if Shay Given played in the modern era, he'd be up there with the likes of Manchester City's Ederson and Liverpool's Alisson Becker.

Given is now a retired Irish professional football goalkeeper who had a successful club career with Newcastle United, where he spent over a decade from 1997 to 2009, making 350 appearances for the club. Given also had stints with clubs like Manchester City, Aston Villa, and Stoke City during his club career. He earned 134 caps for the Republic of Ireland national team, making him one of their most capped players, and represented his country in multiple European Championships and World Cup tournaments.

There was a time when Given was one of the best keepers in the Premier League, and Smith believes that if the former Ireland shot-stopper played today, he would be right up there with the best of the Premier League keepers today.

"I think he would have been up there. In terms of shot-stopping ability, Shay was very, very good, and I think he'd rank right up there. The big difference now, though, is that goalkeepers are so good with their feet. They grow up playing like that, so it's unfair to compare them with keepers of past generations

"Shay would only differ from Ederson and Alisson in the fact that Shay wasn't required to play with his feet as much. Having Ederson in your team is like having an extra outfield player - his distribution is phenomenal,"

"Modern goalkeepers have that advantage, but from a shot-stopping perspective, I was lucky to play with Nigel Martyn, David Seaman, and so on. These goalkeepers are some of the best ever - in my opinion. Nigel was so calm and made incredible saves. Again, though, he never learned to play with his feet. Paul Robinson did as that's how he was brought up. In terms of pure goalkeeping, Shay is right up there with the best of them."

Given's old club Newcastle plays Brentford this weekend.

Smith was speaking to BoyleSports, who provide the latest Premier League odds,