Zack Steffen Can Challenge Ederson for No. 1, Says Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola maintains that Zack Steffen can challenge Ederson someday for the No. 1 position. The Brazilian remains the first choice in between the sticks, but he’s been out of action since late December, having tested positive for COVID-19.

Steffen, 25, kept a clean sheet in his Champions League debut earlier this season. A week ago, he made his Premier League debut at Chelsea in a 3-1 win, where he played fine, but just wasn’t tested much at all. Steffen then kept a clean sheet in City’s 2-0 EFL Cup semifinal Manchester Derby win on Wednesday night.

zack steffen

Steffen had a fine save of a Bruno Fernandes chance in that match, and he also kept a clean sheet today, in City’s 3-0 FA Cup 3rd round victory over Birmingham City.

“He has settled incredibly well to the dynamic of the group,” said Guardiola.

“He listens in training. He made an incredible save in the first half from Bruno Fernandes, but his other actions, like with the ball, he did really well.

“He can fight for No.1. He can put pressure on Eddie, but Eddie is the No.1 in this position right now. If he performs well, he stays No.1. But we cannot forget he [Steffen] played at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and solved all the situations he faced brilliantly.”

Guardiola says the ceiling is really high for the American, who signed with the club for $7 million last year, and was then sent immediately out on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The University of Maryland grad made 17 appearances with the German club.

“He’s been training with maybe the best goalkeeper coach with Xabi [Mancisidor] and he has the opportunity to improve a lot,” Guardiola added, when describing the shot-stopper’s potential. 

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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