Breaking down why Allsop became Rooney’s first-choice keeper – The Athletic

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Wayne Rooney had switched between Ryan Allsop and Kelle Roos three times in 21 appearances before a late November game against Bristol City. Neither of the two goalkeepers had really convinced and the jersey was still up for grabs.

Allsop was given the start on this occasion and played well. He retained his place for the next match, keeping a clean sheet as Derby beat Blackpool 1-0 at home. It was a performance accomplished by the 29-year-old, who made several impressive saves.

Since that day, he is always present. Three clean sheets in five matches between early December and mid-January underscored Allsop’s emergence as one of the Championship’s in-form goalkeepers.

It hasn’t always been easy for Allsop, who battled relegation from Wycombe Wanderers to the same division last season. He conceded 51 goals in 29 league appearances and was then absent from the squad for the final third of the campaign. Recovered on a free this summer, he exceeded all expectations, collecting six clean sheets in 16 starts and conceding only 18 times, a considerable improvement in form.

So why is everything coming together for the Birmingham-born keeper this season?

First of all, he turned out to be an excellent stopper, capable of making reflex saves at close range.

One of those came against West Bromwich Albion, another of his former clubs, which Derby looked set to beat before the fifth minute of stoppage time. A deep ball was thrown from the left wing towards the 6ft 4in centre-back

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