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Manchester City: Bernd Leno was a transfer target before Ederson signed

Manchester City: Bernd Leno was a transfer target before Ederson signed

A new book on Pep Guardiola’s reign at Manchester City has revealed that the manager had planned to sign Bernd Leno in 2017 before eventually bringing in Ederson.

The Daily Mail reported that an excerpt from ‘Pep’s City: The Making of a Superteam’ had stated that the club were working on a deal to sign the German goalkeeper, who is now at Arsenal, two years ago before ultimately deciding to plump for the Brazilian instead.

In an excerpt from the book, Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain said ‘They both fitted the bill’ and ‘One was more expensive to buy, the other required a higher salary. I left it up to the coaches to choose’, with chief executive Ferran Soriano adding that £35m signing Ederson (as per BBC) was ‘cheap at the price’.

Since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2017, Ederson has played 112 times for Manchester City, conceding 84 goals (0.75 per game) and keeping 55 clean sheets (49.1% of games). [via TransferMarkt]

20 of those clean sheets were in last season’s Premier League, an excellent tally beaten only by fellow countryman Alisson at Liverpool with 21.

He also became the first Manchester City goalkeeper to register a Premier League assist when, in a 6-1 in over Huddersfield last season, his 60-yard pass found Sergio Aguero, who promptly dispatched the ball to the net. [via mancity.com]

In 83 Premier League appearances, he has made two errors leading to goals, a rate of one fateful error every 41.5 matches.

Leno’s record at Arsenal prior to their Europa League match against Vitoria Guimaraes tonight reads at 57 goals conceded in 45 appearances (1.27 per game), with 11 clean sheets for the club (24.4% of games). [via TransferMarkt]

He has already been beaten 12 times in the Premier League this season, more than half of Ederson’s total concession tally in the division (23) for 2018/19.

He has been culpable of six errors leading to goals in the English top flight in 41 league games, one every 6.83 matches.

Ederson has also recorded far higher passing success rates than Leno in their respective Premier League careers – the Brazilian had accuracy rates of 85.3% and 82.6% in the last two seasons and that has gone up to 89.8% so far this term, whereas the Arsenal man’s 69.2% passing completion rate from 2018/19 has only increased very slightly to 69.7% in the current campaign.

Ederson’s figures at Manchester City have been vastly superior to those of Leno at Arsenal, not least in terms of ball distribution and the regularity of errors that led directly to goals for the opposition.

The club’s decision to choose the Brazilian over the German is one of those sliding doors moments which the Manchester City board are likely to reflect upon with satisfaction at making the right choice.

Manchester City fans, what are your thoughts on the near-signing of Leno? Do you feel that the club made the right call to go with Ederson instead? Share your views in the comments section below!

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