Absolutely reliable! Ederson shows he’s as important as De Bruyne and Sane in Manchester City title tilt
In December, when Manchester City played neighbouring rivals Manchester United, the whole world was speaking about the expensive worth of talent paraded by both teams.
The build-up to that game was centred on the likes of Paul Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and the ever impressive David de Gea. And it was not surprising that at full-time it was a goalkeeper that stole the show with some world-class saves.
The only surprise, though, was that that goalkeeper was not De Gea. It was Man City’s Ederson.
The Spaniard has enjoyed the monopoly of reigning supreme as the best shot-stopper in the Premier League, but in that Manchester derby, he was outshined by another who could soon be laying claim to that throne.
Guardiola’s charges have been phenomenal this season, opening a 16-point gap at the top of the Premier League table. But while De Bruyne, Sane and Sergio Aguero have taken many plaudits for that run, the unsung hero is definitely Ederson.
The Brazilian has worked his way up with some breathtaking performances and his importance in Guardiola’s side can no longer be understated.
On Thursday when Man City defeated Arsenal 3-0 in the Premier League, the former Benfica goalie was once again in imperious form to make sure the Cityzens went home with a clean sheet – his 12th in the season.
He first showed great agility to stop Aaron Ramsey’s goal-bound shot – which would have drawn Arsenal level had he scored – before later saving a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty to halt any chances of the Gunners launching a comeback.
Such performances are what is needed for any title-winning side and Ederson has proven in his debut season in the English topflight that Man City can count on him when their defence is breached.
How the 24-year-old’s capture is not being counted as one of the signings of the season is something one could struggle to understand on any day.
Last season Guardiola emphasised the need to have a goalkeeper who is good with both the hand and the feet. Unfortunately, Claudio Bravo couldn’t provide that and the Cityzens were often punished for the indecisiveness of the Chilean.
Ederson, though, has taken the Premier League by surprise since arriving from Portugal, displaying the kind of confidence rarely seen by goalkeepers his age.
His ball distribution and ability to initiate attacks from the back has been crucial to Man City’s patient style and his importance looks set to only grow further.
It’s normal that De Brunye and Sane have been pointed out as Man City’s star performers, but in truth, the consistency showed by Ederson makes him as crucial as the aforementioned pair in Man City title push.