Manchester City have agreed their second signing of the summer as Benfica keeper Ederson joins them for £35 million becoming the most expensive goal keeper ever. The Brazilian goalkeeper is set to replace Claudio Bravo at the Etihad Stadium after a disastrous season for the Chilean. Ederson was born in Osasco, Sao Paulo, and grew up playing for his local club, Sao Paulo FC, until he was snapped up by Benfica as a 16-year-old.
After two years as a junior he joined second division club Ribeirao, A year, and 29 appearances, later Ederson was back in Premeira Liga with Rio Ave but was forced to wait for the No.1 shirt but as soon as he grabbed it he found himself in the Brazil under 23 squad, with whom he lifted the Toulon Turnament, and wanted by Benfica. Soon after signing a five year contract at Rio, Benfica re-signed him in a €500,000 deal – with a €45m release clause placed into his contract.
Rio held onto 50 per cent of his economic rights, with Benfica currently holding the other half – a complication City have had to get past during their negotiations. Last March, Ederson replaced Julio Cesar as first-choice to kick start a 10 game winning streak – winning both the Portuguese League and Taca da Liga. The Brazilian helped Benfica to the Primeira Liga title, conceding just 18 goals in 34 games. But the highlight of his career in Lisbon was probably this season’s Champions League last 16 match at home to Dortmund. Ederson made a string of brilliant saves to keep his side in the match, which they won 1-0, and even saved a penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Brazil called Ederson up for the first time in the summer of 2016 for the Copa America Centenario but he was forced to pull out due to injury.
Ederson’s Style of Play
An excellent, reactive shot-stopper, Ederson is assured in the air, able to catch the ball under the physical pressure and presence of those trying to put him off. He’s strong too, and at six feet two, more than capable of holding his own and snatching crosses from the heads of forwards. Reliable. Dependable.
The Brazilian confidently commands his area, intercepting forward passes, charging into masses of bodies to claw away crosses and bravely diving at the feet of onrushing strikers. Quick in speed of thought but calm on the ball, he bears a remarkable resemblance in style to Manuel Neuer. Technique can be coached but fostering the kind of mentality that sets a last man apart from a leader in defence depends on a myriad of circumstances – it is little wonder Ederson is so coveted among Europe’s top clubs.
Why did Manchester City sign him?
This is what makes him so attractive to Guardiola. Like Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich, having a sweeper keeper is essential for Man City’s ball retention and high press. The gap between defence and goalkeeper can become a dangerous destination for clever through-balls but with a goalkeeper able to read the play and who then actively wants to keep it, City can recycle play and move more players forward into the attack. Also Claudio Bravo clearly no longer has Pep Guardiola’s trust after playing second fiddle to Willy Caballero – who has just been released by City. And Joe Hart is unlikely to earn a recall to the side with question marks remaining over his ability to play out from the back. Ederson is extremely highly though of and, at the age of 23, could keep goal at the Etihad for over a decade.
At 23-years-old, Ederson can get even better and under the guidance of a team who have worked with Victor Valdes and Neuer, you’d expect that to be the case. This is clearly a signing made with the future in mind; Guardiola is constructing a youthful, exciting team and a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper shows he intends to build from the back.
We also like to end this article with a skills and goals video of him in 2017.