This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Joe Hart was quickly jettisoned by Pep Guardiola in favour of Claudio Bravo when the Spaniard took the reins at Manchester City four years ago but their title hopes in that 2016/17 season, when they were well fancied in the football betting markets, were undermined by some poor performances from the Chilean. An alarming debut display against Manchester United and the Premier League’s second lowest save percentage that term hammered home to Guardiola that an upgrade was needed.
Enter another South American ‘keeper in Brazil international Ederson, a £34.7m signing from Benfica who came to the Etihad Stadium three years ago this week. At the time he was the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in sterling, so the microscope would be firmly on him to see if he would be an improvement on Bravo.
It soon became clear that Guardiola had righted his wrong from the previous summer. Ederson and Bravo both conceded 26 goals in their respective first seasons in the Premier League, but the Brazilian played 15 more games than his team-mate. Manchester City not only had by far the league’s best attack statistically as they racked up 100 points in winning the title; they also had its best defensive record (as per TransferMarkt) with Ederson between the sticks for all but two of those games.
After managing 17 clean sheets in the Premier League that season, he upped that figure to 20 the following term, as well as conceding three fewer goals (as per TransferMarkt). Another 10 shutouts have followed in the current league campaign so far, the joint-second highest number in the division.
Bravo was signed by Guardiola for Manchester City with a reputation for being astute with the ball at his feet, yet his passing success rate of 72.6% in his first season at the club was notably inferior to Ederson’s 85.3% in his debut campaign in England. Furthermore, the Brazilian even has two assists to his name at the Etihad, his goal kick towards Sergio Aguero immediately preceding a goal for the striker against Huddersfield in August 2018 before repeating the trick to set up Raheem Sterling in a Champions League win at Schalke 04 six months later.
Ederson has played 131 times so far for the club, conceding 101 goals (0.77 per game) and recording 62 clean sheets (47.3% of games). In Bravo’s 60 Manchester City appearances, he has shipped 60 goals and managed only 19 shutouts (31.67% of games).
Who has been the better goalkeeper for Manchester City?
It hardly seems coincidental that Guardiola went from winning no silverware in his first year at the club when Bravo was their main goalkeeper to lifting eight trophies in the subsequent three seasons with Ederson between the sticks for the majority of those games.
Three years into his Manchester City career, the 26-year-old has essentially cost £11.57m per season. Considering the enormous improvement he has brought compared to Bravo, that fee represents chickenfeed in terms of what has been gained versus what was spent.
Man City fans, was the signing of Ederson key to winning the last two Premier League titles? Comment below with your views!
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