By 90Min
October 19, 2017

The 2016/17 Manchester City side promised so much and ended up delivering so little, but it's becoming apparent that everything we saw was building up to this season.

Pep Guardiola arrived in England with the intention of turning the Citizens into his famous treble-winning Barcelona side in terms of playing scintillating football. Much like this season, he breezed to 10 victories in no time at all, but all that early attacking flair one year ago became undermined by the calamitous Claudio Bravo.

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Right from the get-go last season the Chilean looked nervous with the ball at his feet, which was an attribute that was supposed to be his saving grace for his rather average shot stopping and command of his penalty area.

10 wins went by, but one got the feeling that trouble was in the offing. 10 wins have gone by this, and one doesn't get the same feeling this time around - and it's in-part down to the brilliant summer signing of Ederson from Benfica.


The Brazilian has pitched up at the Etihad with more self-assurance than is allowed for a goalkeeper joining a new club, and he has become an instant hit with the City faithful.

Statistically, it's all looking rosy - just two league goals conceded in eight matches so far and none in the Champions League is fantastic going, and certainly not what any City supporter would have expected before a ball was kicked this season, despite his glowing reputation.

Initially, admittedly, Ederson didn't have to do all that much, but in the past few weeks we have really started to see why he is the most (or second-most, depending on which currency takes your fancy) expensive goalkeeper of all-time - and his performance against free-scoring Napoli on Tuesday was highly impressive.

There seems to be an incredible maturity to the 23-year-old's game and he plays beyond those years. His utter calmness and pinpoint distribution is a joy to behold and definitely something that has resonated with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, who look like different players.

The dependable stopper's coolness and ball-playing ability in tight situations seem to have transferred into their own respective games, and City as a collective defensive unit look impenetrable right now.

What is even more remarkable is the fact that Ederson takes on another role aside from being a great goalkeeper - he is a deep-lying playmaker, and his monstrous kicking and quick throwing has been catching teams well off-guard, and it's all absolutely in keeping with the Guardiola way. The amount of times he is able to pick out Fernandinho and kick-start a new attack is fantastic.

His masterstroke signing looks to be the perfect basis for a winning formula this season, especially with Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus firing on all cylinders at the other end.

It is quite simple - the signing of Ederson has breathed confidence into a once-shaky backline and with that weakness now seemingly rectified, City should concede far less and their incredible attacking stars can go about their business without fear of having too many goals to overturn.

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