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Given: Ederson the best in the world

WORLD CLASS: Given is a huge fan of City's No. 1

WORLD CLASS: Given is a huge fan of City's No. 1

Shay Given believes Ederson is the best ball-playing goalkeeper in world football.

But the former Ireland international insists there’s more to come from the 23-year-old.

Ederson joined City in the summer of 2017 and was a vital component in the title-winning campaign that saw us set a new Premier League points record.

His ability with the ball at his feet revolutionised our play and Given, who played for City between 2009-11, has been hugely impressed.

“He’s still relatively young in goalkeeping terms and he’s still improving,” Given told mancity.com.

“He’s been a great signing, there’s no getting away from that fact, and he was probably a bit of an unknown when he signed.

“But the job he’s done, winning the Premier League and, of course, his style, which fits with how Guardiola wants to play, tells you everything.

“For me, Ederson is the best in the world with the ball at his feet and I’m not saying that lightly.

“There are some great goalkeepers – [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen, [Manuel] Neuer – but for me he’s just so comfortable with the ball at his feet.

“It’s exactly how Pep wants to play and when City have the ball, Ederson basically becomes an outfield player, and he may as well chuck the gloves in the goal because he’s so good with his feet!

“And then last year in important games he made some big saves, which sometimes may have gone unnoticed because City went on to win the game maybe two or three-nil.

“But at important stages last season, he came up with big saves.”

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Ederson’s style is sometimes described as risky, but with it comes high rewards.

He often invites strikers to close him down, creating space in behind which he can exploit with his superb range of passing.

Given admits his approach can feel precarious but says it's key to City's brand of football. 

“It's high-risk but at the same time Ederson knows because they work on it on a daily basis that someone will give him an option at some point, even when he’s getting closed down,” Given said.

“The centre-halves are told to drop wide, and the No. 6, usually Fernandinho, should be dropping back from a midfield area and the wing-backs are in an advanced area as well, so he knows there should always be an option to play out.

“And even if there isn’t, he can do a stepover and take a striker on and it opens things up.

“But that’s what Guardiola wants. He wants to encourage the opposition to close the keeper down because that creates space somewhere else and Ederson is very good at that.”

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City have conceded just five goals in 12 Premier League games so far this season, only one of which has come from open play.

John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have received widespread praise for their developing partnership at centre-half, with the pair both in sensational form. 

Given, now Derby County's goalkeeper coach, believes their partnership is one that is perfectly suited to Guardiola's principles.

"Obviously Laporte came in during the last winter transfer window and didn’t play regularly, Otamendi was probably the main centre-half," he said.

"But with Stones and Laporte this year – and you can’t really mention those two without mentioning Fernandinho in front of them because the job he does is phenomenal – but these two look a real strong pairing.

"They’re both comfortable on the ball and are both relaxed when the ball comes to them, which, again, is exactly what Pep wants. But up the other end, from set plays, they both like to attack the ball in both boxes and they’re very, very strong in both areas."

You can follow live updates of Saturday's game via our Matchday Centre right here on mancity.com 

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