Former Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is one of today’s 25 nominees for the latest inductees into the Premier League’s hall of fame.
The Dutch international’s surprise move to Craven Cottage was the story of the summer following Fulham’s promotion to the top flight under Jean Tigana with Mohamed Al-Fayed splashing the cash on a goalkeeper who had dropped out of the first team reckoning at Juventus. van der Sar paid back every penny of the £7m that Fulham forked out to bring him to west London, keeping an incredible 49 clean sheets in 150 appearances for the Whites before moving on to Manchester United in 2005.
Very much a modern goalkeeper, outstanding with the ball at his feet, van der Sar immediately radiated reassurance as Tigana’s side battled with the step up having breezed to the Division One title. He kept five clean sheets in his first season at Craven Cottage, conceding just 41 goals in 37 games, as the Whites weathered a mid-season dip to survive. The former Ajax number one helped Fulham reach the FA Cup semi-finals and lifted the Intertoto Cup the following summer before guiding them to the third round of their inaugural Europa League campaign.
His storied exploits at Old Trafford will win more acclaim but van der Sar’s contribution to Fulham’s Premier League years shouldn’t be merely a footnote in his career. The Dutchman deserves a place in the Premier League hall of fame – and will need a sizeable Fulham vote to secure one up against some high class nominees this year. You can vote for Edwin here.