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5 things you may not know about Manchester City target Ederson


Ederson looks set for a switch to Manchester City

Ederson looks set for a switch to Manchester City

Ederson looks set for a switch to Manchester City

Benfica goalkeeper Ederson has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City after admitting he has "probably" played his last game for the Portuguese side.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not know about the 23-year-old.

1. He has worked his way to the top

Although picked up by Benfica at 16, his big European break took its time to come. He was allowed to leave for lowly Ribeiraro after two years with the Primeira's Liga's junior side. He earned his spurs, won a top-flight reprieve with Rio Ave and once again pricked Benfica's interest in 2015. He started in the 'B' team but has gone on to prove a worthy number one.

2. He had to elbow Julio Cesar aside

Even on his return to Estadio da Luz, Ederson faced considerable challenges. Chief among them was the presence of compatriot Julio Cesar, the lavishly-decorated veteran keeper, between the posts. The former Inter Milan stalwart had been a revelation in 2015, earning a contract extension through to 2018, but when Ederson's chance came he took it with aplomb and Cesar has performed understudy duties to the younger man ever since.

3. He is yet to win an international cap

Despite his burgeoning reputation and an inevitably eye-watering transfer fee, Ederson has less international experience than Tom Heaton. He has appeared for Brazil's Under-21s and Under-23s but had to withdraw from 2016's Copa America Centenario, which offered one of his best chances of a senior appearance. He has since warmed the bench for Brazil but has yet to make the step over the line.

4. City have been on the radar for a while

Ederson was taking part in a question and answer session on Facebook last June when he was asked about reported interest from Pep Guardiola's past and present employers - Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Happily, given the latest speculation, he offered a tentative preference for the Etihad Stadium though, at the time at least, he was not contemplating any kind of transfer. He said: "City or Munich? They are two great teams, two teams that will fight for titles next season. But I prefer England and City. But I will not leave (Benfica), do not want to and do not intend to. Although the decision is not always 100 percent made by the player. Unfortunately."

5. Dangerous distribution

Nobody knows better than Joe Hart how important a goalkeeper's use of the ball at feet is to Guardiola and Ederson appears to have every box ticked on that score. He has often been spotted charging from his box, occasionally even beyond the last defender, to snuff out attacks and get his side going again. He has a reputation for being both a considered passer of the ball and, when the time comes, a huge kicker. He directly assisted goals by picking out strikers from his goal-kicks and once scored from his own box as a youth player, giving his next club a handsome range of deliveries from the back.