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Weaver: Ederson the real deal

SAFE HANDS: Ederson has impressed former City 'keeper Nicky Weaver this season

SAFE HANDS: Ederson has impressed former City 'keeper Nicky Weaver this season

Nicky Weaver has been impressed by Ederson’s start to life at Manchester City and says he has everything needed to reach the very top of the game.

The Brazilian has conceded just 10 goals in 15 matches since signing from Benfica in the summer, with his bravery and ability to distribute the ball adding a new dimension to City’s play.

He recently made his international debut in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Chile in World Cup qualifying and Weaver says he isn’t surprised he has been drafted into the Selecao squad given the quality of his performances so far.

“I think he’s had a great start,” Weaver said. “He’s young but he’s come in and he looks the part.

“He’s brave, we’ve seen that. He took one in the face against Liverpool but it hasn’t affected him.

“He comes and takes high balls, and you can see how good and quick he is with his feet.

“I like what I see. He looks the real deal so far.”

Ederson’s ability to dominate his area has seen him widely praised – but it’s perhaps his distribution that has impressed the most.

He is calm in possession and often invites forwards towards him before releasing the ball and starting attacks.

It’s given City an added edge and Weaver says it’s an ideal fit for Pep Guardiola’s approach.

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“I think with the way Pep Guardiola wants to play – attacking, expansive football – he needs a goalkeeper who can do that,” Weaver said.

“In Spain, they don’t have a 4-4-4, they’d have a 1-4-4-2, where the goalkeeper is classed as part of their formation and the team’s play, not just someone who uses his hands like we’ve done over the years.

“Ederson is excellent with his feet. He breaks the lines; he threads it through people.

“He plays a really high line, a bit like Manuel Neuer does at Bayern Munich, so he’s sweeping up behind the defence.

“He’s playing really high, he’s really brave on the ball, brave with his decisions and, so far, he’s been excellent.”

But Weaver has warned that it’s an approach that may, from time to time, see the goalkeeper caught out.

“I always remember when Hugo Lloris first came to the Premier League, he used to keep a really high line and he got caught out a few times in his first season,” Weaver said.

“He’s sort of retreated a little bit, but I think sometimes when you’ve got a goalkeeper who plays like he does, you’ve got to accept every now and then he will get his timing slightly wrong, because he plays on the edge.

“But the amount of good he does will outweigh any mistakes he does make, which hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure he will at some point but so far, so good.

“He’s a good age, 24, so he’s not just doing well now, but he’s one for the long-term as well.”

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Ederson’s has showcased his short, incisive passing throughout the season – but he also possesses a remarkable 80-yard goal-kick, which almost saw him assist a goal for Sergio Aguero in City’s win over Real Madrid in preseason. 

The Argentine struck the post on that occasion but it was a clear example of Ederson’s incredible ability to play the ball long, a tactic Weaver believes City could use this season. 

“I remember one in the game against Everton that he sent…it must have been 80 yards, pinpoint!” he said.

“So he’s got the short game and the ability to go very, very long.

“The first one I felt who came into the Premier League at doing anything like that that was Pepe Reina. He was the first one doing the sidewinder regularly to good effect.

"It’s just sort of escalated from then and now all the young goalies coming through that’s what they’re judged upon, almost as much as keeping the ball out of the net.

"But Ederson looks to have all aspects of the game needed to excel at the top level."

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