The Blue half of Manchester prided itself on the fact that managers from different parts of the world with different outlooks tactically and philosophically had always enjoyed their unanimous support through thick and thin.
However, that had certainly changed with newly appointed manager Pep Guardiola’s decision to ship out club legend Joe Hart who had earned the love and affection of the fans with consistent and passionate performances over the years. The same elation which had greeted the Spanish manager’s arrival from Bayern Munich could no longer be felt with a sense of fury in the hearts of the supporters who found the arrival of ex- Barcelona goalie Claudio Bravo as replacement quite unbearable in nature.
The Chilean goalkeeper had been a vital performer for the Spanish club as well as the national team ensuring match-winning performances on a consistent basis. However, the factor which made him the perfect addition to Pep Guardiola’s new look Manchester City was his ability to play the ball from the back with a perfect blend of skills and experience making it all the more lucrative.
Sadly, Bravo could never really make his presence felt for his new club in a league which certainly did not match his skillsets. His error-prone performances resulted in a trophyless debut season for Guardiola who had to silently bear the jibes of supporters and critics who labelled him as a man incapable of adapting to diverse circumstances.
However, the ex-Barcelona manager refused to part ways with his ideologies emphasizing that any side managed by him would always consist of a goalkeeper capable of playing the ball from the back. “I’m sorry but until the last day of my career as a coach I will try to play from our goalkeeper,” he said.
At the same time, the 47-year-old had certainly learnt his lessons from the debacle of the previous season and realised the need to invest in the services of a young, talented ball-playing goalie who could hold his own under pressure. The likes of Jan Oblak, Manuel Neuer were soon linked with a possible move to Manchester City with Guardiola opting to remain tight-lipped over the reports. However, the decision which was soon announced caught the footballing world by a sense of shock and immense surprise with Benfica goalie Ederson Moraes signed by the English giants for a massive fee of £35 million which was recognised as a British record fee for the services of a goalkeeper at that stage.
While fans were initially perplexed at the decision to invest in an unknown goalkeeper who had still not proven himself consistently on the big stage, others murmured discontent at the transfer fee deeming the investment as financially unfeasible. Any failure at this stage could have easily proved fatal for Guardiola who was steadily losing out on valuable fan support and an increasingly impatient club management who demanded success at any cost.
What one could never have predicted even in the wildest of dreams was the unparalleled success which a single move was capable of heralding in the club’s fortunes. The Brazilian goalkeeper has emerged as the perfect fit in front of goal with his creative ball-playing skills, inch-perfect long rangers which have set the tone for several eye-catching goals.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche went to the extent of terming him as a Ronald Koeman like figure in goal after a terrible night for his attackers when expected to battle it out against the Brazilian: “It’s like having Ronald Koeman in goal – he gets [the ball] and spins it around the pitch, and that adds to their game plan because he defuses the game. It’s a massive weapon in the style they play.”
The 25-year-old enjoys a good build and height standing at about 6ft 2 inches, has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe on the back of awe-inspiring shot stopping capabilities, inch-perfect distribution and a keen desire to excel at any cost. Ederson enjoys the ability to read the game in an excellent fashion and has emerged as the perfect keeper sweeper capable of ensuring error-free performances. The keeper was a key feature of Manchester City’record-breaking domestic campaign last season with his sublime performances making the key difference in the most crucial of fixtures.
The acquisition of Ederson might well go on to emerge as one of the shrewdest acquisitions ever by Pep Guardiola who will look back upon the decision with immense pride in the coming years.
How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now!