With Claudio Bravo failing to impress at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola is reaching out for Benfica’s Brazilian keeper as the base of a new football project
Manchester City are on the verge of announcing the signing of goalkeeping wonder Ederson from Benfica. Pep Guardiola is keen on the 23-year old due to his majestic ball-distribution – which has always been essential in the Spaniard’s system. This move could make or break the Brazilian’s chances of making the World Cup squad. Will the gamble pay-off?
Ederson is close to completing a $45 million transfer to the Etihad Stadium in North-West England. Julio César was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the Portuguese league in the 2014/2015 season, but an unfortunate injury meant that his direct replacement, Ederson, would grab the opportunity to later on cement himself in pole position.
In a World Cup year, this move could be seen as risky for the youngster, but at the same time, it could turn out to be the opportunity he has been craving for. A Guardiola side always attracts millions of viewers, so Ederson would find himself under higher visibility with City.
Ederson’s amazing reflexes which led him to save 81% of the shots he had been exposed to, meant that the goalie ended the season with the highest save percentage. In addition to that, Ederson has always impressed with his ability to accurately punt a long ball for the flying winger who is on the receiving end, and as recent events have shown, this has generated goals on more than one occasion.
The Brazilian always looks comfortable on the ball, and doesn’t brainlessly clear it nor lose possession. Joe Hart was one of the best shot-stoppers in England, but Pep was never going to accept a goalkeeper who cannot build from the back, because it is against the Spaniard’s beliefs. And if anything, the Spaniard has so often shown that he is not ready to let go of his footballing principles.
Chile captain, Claudio Bravo, arrived at Manchester City with high expectations, but he failed to deliver after cracking under pressure and committing several blunders. Whereas reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero – who had eventually displaced Bravo for the starting spot – has officially left the club, meaning that City is set to pay this record transfer-fee for Ederson with the idea of counting on him as the first option.
It will be up for the Brazilian to grab the opportunity of working with one of the best managers in the world. At 23, Ederson is like a “pate a modeler”, as in, Guardiola will develop him the way he wants, in order to turn the Benfica man into the perfect goalkeeper for his system.
Alisson has so far started all nine World Cup qualifiers under newly appointed boss Tite, but Brazil fans are not reassured about his club situation, as he has been a bench-warmer for AS Roma for the majority of the season. Ederson’s transfer to City has perhaps come at the right time, to provide the Seleção a goalkeeper with a top Champions League side in the build-up for the greatest football tournament in Russia, next year.
One thing is sure, the former Sao Paulo academy-sensation, will be present in Brazil’s next two friendlies against Argentina and Australia in June, and will try to leave his best impression.