Ederson: An increasingly real Manchester City option
Ten minutes into the second half. Benfica have just scored a goal and now try to deal with Borussia Dortmund’s pressure as the German club look for an equaliser.
Ederson saves one. Ederson saves two.
In a third attempt, the ball hits Feija’s hand and the referee gives a penalty.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang carries the ball to the spot and takes it. Ederson doesn’t move. He doesn’t guess. He saves it in the middle of the goal.
Borussia Dortmund keep pressing for the entire second half. With seven minutes before stoppage time they win a corner.
The Estádio da Luz goes completely silent as the defence clears it, but Christian Pulisic hits it hard with a deflected volley.
“He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” said manager Rui Vitória after the win. The local press also recognised the fantastic job done by giving him the man of the match prize.
A Manchester City scout was watching all this, report Record. One of the many spies who traveled to be at the game.
This is not the first time Ederson has done it against a Bundesliga club. In fact, a match in Germany is the reason why he started being linked to Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola was impressed with Ederson’s performance against Bayern Munich last year. His compliments to the player started a series of rumours, especially when he was looking for a new goalkeeper after taking charge of the Premier League club.
Speculation or not, it should be time for Guardiola to consider signing him.
Ederson may be low profile, but his talent just can’t go unnoticed anymore. After so many years being ignored by the national set-up, he was watched last night by Brazilian legend Taffarel, who won the World Cup in 1994 and is now a goalkeeping coach for the Seleção. It’s considered certain he’ll be getting a call-up for the next games.
The player left São Paulo’s academy early, when he was taken to Benfica by the agent Jorge Mendes. He ended up moving to Ribeirão and then Rio Ave, but his good performances convinced the Eagles to buy him back.
Pep Guardiola may have relied on experience to choose his goalkeeper at Manchester City, but Claudio Bravo hasn’t proved the answer so far. Good footwork was not all he needed, after all.
On the other hand, goalkeepers like David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois keep showing that talent is something managers should bet on, regardless of age. They may be young and not always as skilful with their feet, but there are a growing number of young goalkeepers winning games for big clubs.
That’s why a 23-year-old with Champions League experience and Portuguese league trophies in his closet should have no major problems to adapt to Manchester City.
A young goalkeeper who has sent someone like Julio Cesar to the bench and is now applauded by his tutor from the sidelines – that’s someone who could be shining for one of the best soon.
Having extended his contract with Benfica last month, Ederson saw his release clause raised from €45m to €60m.
Considering how difficult Portuguese clubs make it to let their talents go, it won’t be simple to get him. The high release clauses are normally used to give them a bigger margin to negotiate, and we reckon Manchester City would be looking at €40m as a starting point.