By 90Min
November 22, 2017

Manchester City had a huge problem last season when Claudio Bravo found it too difficult to adapt to the demands of the passing game that manager Pep Guardiola wanted to play, using the goalkeeper like an extra outfield player in a bid to control possession.

His inability to fit into that system so badly affected his confidence to the point where even the Chilean's previously top shot stopping attributes also seemed to desert him.

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To combat it, City spent in excess of £34m on Benfica goalkeeper Ederson. It was seen as a gamble on a player who had twice been released in his career and had precious little top level experience, but the 24-year-old Brazilian has made a fine start and is fast establishing himself as a genuine star.

Not only is he a top shot stopper, a must for all Premier League goalkeepers, but data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal that Ederson is by far the division's best goalkeeper when it comes to the his pass completion rate, highlighting just how suited he is to Guardiola's plans.

Ederson has completed 84% of his attempted passes in the Premier League, compared to 69% completed by Simon Mignolet of Liverpool, the next most accurate goalkeeper.

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In overall numbers, both Huddersfield's Jonas Lossl (264) and Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois (247) have completed more passes than Ederson's 240. But neither has a completion rate as high as the City number one - or 31 if you go by the digits on his shirt - with 61% and 68% for Lossl and Courtois respectively. They are the only three to have completed more than 200 passes.

Ederson has played as much a 71% of his Premier League passes short this season, rather than kicking it long. Courtois has played just under half (49%) of his passes short, while Lossl has played fewer than one in three of his passes short, with 71% going long. It shows how Ederson is very much involved in the passing game that City are playing under Guardiola, one that just didn't work with Bravo in 2016/17.

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Mignolet is the only other goalkeeper in the Premier League to have played at least half of his passes short, with 51% going short and 49% going long.

Things could easily have been disastrous for Ederson. He looked decidedly shaky on his unofficial debut in a pre-season Manchester derby in the United States and other more fragile individuals might have seen their confidence destroyed after the nasty collision he had with Liverpool's Sadio Mane that required a number of facial stitches to repair the damage.

If anything, the resilient Brazilian came out of that incident stronger, seemingly just more determined to prove himself and succeed.

Player Passes Completed Pass Completion %
Ederson (Man City) 240 84%
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 189 69%
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) 247 68%
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 194 67%
Petr Cech (Arsenal) 171 62%
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield) 264 61%
David de Gea (Man Utd) 191 57%
Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 163 56%
Mathew Ryan (Brighton) 174 53%
Rob Elliot (Newcastle) 195 53%

Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League

Image by Jamie Spencer


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