Could Dean Henderson be England’s secret weapon in a penalty shoot-out?

England best penalty savers

Only the finest of margins will separate the 16 teams entering the knockout stages of Euro 2024, with penalty shoot-outs used to determine a winner should there be nothing to choose between two sides after 120 minutes.

Gareth Southgate famously made a triple substitution in the last minute of extra time during the Euro 2020 final to get his best penalty takers on the pitch, though England would go on to lose that shoot-out to Italy.

However, this time around, the stats would suggest the England coach should consider swapping goalkeepers in order to give his side the best possible chance of avoiding more penalty heartache.

Who is England’s best penalty saver?

Jordan Pickford has an admirable record for England in senior shoot-outs, saving a quarter of the 16 penalties he has faced against Colombia (2018 World Cup), Switzerland (2019 Nations League) and Italy (Euro 2020).

However, his overall career record is less impressive, saving just 15 of the 104 penalties he has faced in total, including only 1/20 in the Premier League across the last five seasons.

Pickford’s save rate during regular matches (13%) is below the 17% average of all 72 goalkeepers at Euro 2024, raising the question: are England missing a trick?

According to data taken from, the answer is yes. While England’s second-choice, Aaron Ramsdale – who has only saved one senior penalty during his career – is marginally behind Pickford on 12%, Dean Henderson, the third and final goalkeeper in their squad, is way out ahead on 36%.

Top 5 penalty savers at euro 2024

That’s the best save rate of any goalkeeper at Euro 2024 to have faced more than five penalties during their career, with Peter Szappanos, Hungary’s third-choice stopper, the only person above him on 40% (2/5).

Henderson has saved a remarkable 8/22 penalties in matches including 3/7 in the Premier League, thwarting both Harry Kane and Declan Rice in the process.

His record in shoot-outs (18%) is marginally better than Pickford’s (17%), while his overall record (28%) is twice as good as England’s No.1.

So, should penalties be required, England’s secret weapon on the bench could make all the difference.

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