This daunting question has been on the minds of many fans lately, as poor performances from the Chilean Claudio Bravo have been one of plenty of defensive errors plaguing City.
The late summer move for Bravo and the exclusion of fan favorite Joe Hart confused many City fans. Why pay a reported £17 million for a 33-year-old goalkeeper when you have relatively decent homegrown number 1?
While shocking fans, the move was not a surprise to many former Pep players and Spanish journalists. If you couldn’t play the way Pep wanted you to, especially as the goalkeeper, then your days at the club would be numbered. With the multiple poor performances from Bravo, as well as him being rumoured to not have fully adapted to life in England, the prospect of a new goalkeeper in the summer is looking ever likely. The other current options at keeper for City also includes cult hero Willy Caballero, however it seems that he will leave on a contract expiry at the end of the season. That leads to the question of who should Pep bring in to be the new number 1?
City are blessed with having great options to choose from in the transfer market. While being linked with an endless amount of goalkeepers, I will focus on two, as they are most likely to join. Both are extremely talented and City would benefit from having either.
The two are Ederson Moraes and Geronimo Rulli, both of whom are excellent young goalkeepers that would fit Pep’s style.
Ederson Moraes, a 23-year-old Brazilian lad that plays for Benfica, has been heavily linked with City over the past few months. Standing over 6 foot and 2 inches, the Brazilian has excellent reflexes and distribution that made him a day one target for City. His rating for all competitions on WhoScored is 7.01, and his recent performance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Round of 16 was phenomenal.
Geronimo Rulli, a 24-year-old Argentine who plays for Real Sociedad, is a keeper who has a clause which could bring him to City for £12 million around 2018. The Rulli deal was done under the carpet by the City hierarchy last season, and it was seen as a way to make quick money. However, Rulli has been a solid keeper for Real Sociedad, and plays in a way that would suit Pep’s system.
This leads to the question, which of the two goalkeepers are City likely to bring in? If City went for Moraes, it would cost a staggering £34.8 million, due to his release clause. Rulli would only cost £12 million, a relatively good price considering Sociedad payed City £7 million already in that confusing deal. Ederson’s recent performances have been outstanding, as he recorded two Man of The Match awards in the Champions League and has a magnificent 17 clean sheets out of 27 in all competitions. Rulli, who is in a more competitive league (La Liga) and weaker side, has a 6.5 overall match rating with only eight clean sheets out 28.
They are both talented keepers without a doubt, however there is just something in Ederson Moraes that seems to entice me a bit more. After watching a couple of his games, I saw a keeper that was so composed and comfortable on the ball. His reflexes are top notch, especially the saves he made against Dortmund. He gives off a vibe that extremely confident players have, and confidence is something of an underrated trait to have as a goalkeeper.
I was sceptical at first, however. I saw reports that we were interested in a relatively unknown talent that played in Portugal with a huge release clause. The deal reminded me of Eliaqium Mangala, and how City were suckered into that deal. Then I started watching his games, the Champions league ones first, as they were easily accessible. I saw some good games, like his game against Dynamo Kyiv, but I wasn’t fully convinced. As the rumours grew, I began watching more and more of his games. Last week I decided to sit down and watch his game against Dortmund. The guy was a wall. He was first to every long ball that had been launched from defence, quick off the line, and saved an Aubameyang penalty. That game really sold me the idea of City buying Moraes. In such a game, to perform like that was something refreshing to see, especially from a 23-year-old.
Geronimo Rulli is also a quality goalkeeper, let me make that clear. City could exercise the option of bringing both keepers in but I doubt they will do that, as both of them would want to join a club where they are the undisputed number 1. Rulli has come out and said that he “would join City tomorrow” recently, which could give City something to really consider. I haven’t really felt the hype in Rulli like I have in Ederson. The latter seems to have this justifiable hype around him, which reminded me of Thibaut Courtois when he was at Atletico Madrid.
I believe City should go after Moraes, as a player of his quality won’t be available for long. He is wanted by many clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Arsenal. However, City lead the race and the deal could be done in the summer. It would be a great fit for the club and I’m excited to see which route City will take.
Written by Nihad Ademovic
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