In the wake of Manchester City's historic 2018/19 campaign, we launch a new feature charting the individual impact of Pep Guardiola's Fourmidables - kicking-off with goalkeeper Ederson.
Squad number: 31
Season's stats - Total appearances: 55
Total clean sheets: 28
Premier League clean sheets: 20
Premier League passes: 920
Total assists: 2
A man-of-the-match display in City’s pivotal 1-0 Premier League home win over Spurs in April.
Facing Mauricio Pochettino’s side at the Etihad for the second time in three days after our agonising Champions League exit at the hands of the Londoners, City were only too aware that anything but a victory would hand the title initiative to Liverpool.
We got off to the perfect start thanks to Phil Foden’s fifth-minute header but, thereafter, it proved a tense and nervy afternoon – with City indebted to Ederson for a series of quite outstanding saves.
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The Brazilian goalkeeper demonstrated great technique, excellent spatial awareness and boundless bravery as he repelled several dangerous Spurs attacks and won his very own personal duel with Tottenham talisman Son Heung-Min as well as making a stunning block to thwart Christian Eriksen.
And with the Etihad fans on the edge of their seats in what was a nerve-wracking finale, Ederson again stood tall as he combined with John Stones to produce an absolutely crucial late block to deny Lucas Moura
After a tough night in the Champions League just three days earlier it was also another timely reminder of the goalkeeper's remarkable strength of character
Pep Guardiola has assembled a City squad blessed with sublime aesthetic artistry wherever you look.
Yet in many ways, Ederson has become the glue that helps bind the protective spine to help blend those exciting individual elements into a potent alchemy.
After arriving from Benfica in the summer of 2017, Ederson proved a revelation in his first season but, if anything, the Brazilian has further furnished his glowing reputation over the course of the 2018/19 campaign.
A fearless figure armed with an imposing frame, the 25-year-old presents the most formidable of obstacles on those occasions when our opponents do carve out opportunities.
The fact that he kept 20 clean sheets over the course of our Premier League title defence amply illustrates his vital importance to the collective cause.
City’s number of goals conceded during the 38-game league campaign was just 23 – only Liverpool’s 22 bettered that tally – and that was a strking statistic often overlooked in favour of our lethal finishing power at the opposite end of the field with 95 league goals being shared out amongst the squad.
Ederson has further endeared himself to City fans everywhere with his eye-catching quality with the ball at his feet, not to mention his howitzer of a kick.
Indeed, some fans have, half-jokingly, drooled about the prospect of the Brazilian playing outfield. What isn't in doubt is that there aren’t too many goalkeepers who can boast providing two assists over the course of a campaign.
Having signed a two-contract extension last May, it's also heartening to know that Ederson will remain a key cornerstone of City’s defence for the long term and that, at 25, his best years are still very much ahead of him.
Good news for us – not so good for our rivals!.