Thursday, March 30, 2023

Manchester City Agree On Terms With This Goalkeeper : What Could Be Guardiola’s Play Here?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

In a recent report, Manchester Evening News mentioned that Manchester City have agreed on terms with Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper Stefan Ortega in this off-season. It has also been said that Ortega’s arrival would directly impact the number two goalkeeper Zack Steffen at Guardiola’s disposal.

Ortega’s Campaign In The German First Division

The Hofgeismar-born talent has proven to be a key player in between the sticks for the relegated German side. He has featured in 35 matches being pivotal in Bielefeld’s defence as he kept six clean sheets for the German outfit last season across all fronts.

Ortega has done well to stand his ground despite conceding 53 goals in the last term.  However, he needs to improve upon his ball distribution in order to fit the bracket of a modern goalkeeper, as evident by his pass success rate of 69% in the top-flight of German football (stats via whoscored).

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2022, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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What Could Be Guardiola’s Play In Bringing A Goalkeeper To Manchester City?

The German shot-stopper has been a regular for Bielefeld. He has fared well to catch Guardiola’s eye for a permanent move. Ortega remains weak in distributing the ball from the back but he is calm when the opposition is on the front foot. The 1.85m tall goalkeeper does well to parry the ball away and is quick to cover the goal as he senses danger from the attackers.

His arrival at the Etihad is alarming for Zack Steffen as the U.S. goalkeeper has played second fiddle to Ederson in the last season. Both Steffen and Ortega could agree to be the number two goalkeeper but a third choice doesn’t attract any interest since that would threaten their growth.

At 29, Ortega could develop further and become a reliable cover for Ederson over the coming seasons but to tackle the situation that could arise upon his arrival, Pep Guardiola would need to send Zack Steffen on loan considering his development.

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