Who is Manchester City Signing Zack Steffen?

 

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have confirmed the signing of United States goalkeeper Zack Steffen from Columbus Crew for a reported fee of £7 million.

The deal to bring Steffen to the Premier League exceeds the £2.3 million fee paid by Manchester United for Tim Howard in 2003 and makes him the most expensive goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history.
It’s also the largest fee that Columbus Crew has received for a player in its 23-year history. Steffen will participate in the first part of the 2019 Major League Soccer season, which starts in March 2018, until joining his new teammates in July.
Steffen kept ten clean sheets in the MLS last season and was voted 2018 Goalkeeper of the Year as a reward for his exemplary performances. He’s also recently become No. 1 goalkeeper for the United States National Team and has amassed six caps since being promoted from the youth ranks.
Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is the first-choice goalkeeper at the Etihad Stadium, but Steffen is likely to act as a replacement for current second-choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who has been unavailable during the 2018/19 season due to an Achilles injury.

Why Have Manchester City Signed Zack Steffen?

Ederson is one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe and I’m convinced that the signing of Zack Steffen will have no bearing on his first-choice role at Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola has been forced to resort to 20-year-old Swiss goalkeeper Arijanet Muric for cover following the long-term injury to Claudio Bravo. Muric is a product of the Manchester City academy, but has only made three senior appearances.
Manchester City originally sent him a season-long loan to Dutch Eredivisie outfit NAC Breda, but he was recalled from Breda after making just one appearance, following the injury to Bravo.
Muric has played only two matches in the League Cup and his unproven track record could leave supporters feeling sceptical if Ederson is to sustain an injury.
Therefore, Steffen has purely been signed to supply adequate cover for the meantime, although his youth, talent and hunger could also be utilized as a tool to keep Ederson on his toes.

What Has He Achieved in His Early Career?

Zack Steffen began playing competitively for the University of Maryland, where he spent two years playing college soccer in 2013 and 2014. At 19 years of age, Steffen packed his bags for a new adventure in Germany when SC Freiburg scouts identified him playing in the United States.
However, Steffen was unable to attain a place in the first team squad and was reduced to just fourteen appearances for SC Freiburg II in the fourth tier of German football.
It became clear that he was surplus to requirements and he returned to his homeland by joining Major League Soccer outfit Columbus Crew in 2016. The Crew needed to judge whether he was capable of playing in the first team and sent him on a season-long loan to second division club Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Upon his return from Pittsburgh, Steffen was immediately installed into the starting line-up at Columbus Crew. Steffen first surged into the spotlight when his goalkeeping heroics helped guide The Crew into the MLS Play-Offs Semi-Final.
He made eight saves during regulated time and thwarted two penalties to secure victory over Atlanta United. He’s also represented the United States National Team at U18, U20 & U23 level and even reached the quarter-final stage of the 2015 U20 World Cup.
Last season was by far his most impressive from an individual perspective, despite Columbus Crew being eliminated in the semi-finals of the MLS Cup Play-Offs for the second consecutive season.
Steffen made his international debut in January 2018 and has gone onto make a further five appearances for the United States. His most notable performance was undisputedly against World Cup champions France when he made seven saves to earn a surprising 1-1 draw in Lyon.
After failing to achieve his dreams in Europe with SC Freiburg, Steffen used his own initiative to revive his career, which probably made winning the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year even sweeter. He’s an individual with limitless potential and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in the Premier League!

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