The next David James? Ederson eyes outfield role at Man City

Ederson Manchester City
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The Brazilian goalkeeper has made an immediate impact at the Etihad Stadium between the sticks, but he would relish an opportunity to lose the gloves

Ederson’s ambition at Manchester City stretches well beyond clean sheets, with the Brazilian eager to play outfield at some stage.

Pep Guardiola spent big on the 24-year-old goalkeeper over the summer, placing him into a bracket alongside the legendary Gianluigi Buffon in terms of transfer value.

City’s faith and sizeable investment has been immediately rewarded, with Ederson impressing as part of a record-breaking team which now holds an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

His distribution and ability with the ball at his feet has made him a perfect fit for Guardiola’s system, and it could be that he gets the opportunity to showcase that talent further by losing the gloves.

Asked by City’s official website if he would like to play outfield, Ederson said: “Well, if one day I am needed I think I could!

“When I started my career, I was actually a left-back and I do have some qualities playing with my feet, so I think that helps a lot, especially due to the way we play at City.

“It’s a huge responsibility to play at the back, there is no room for mistakes, so I must be constantly focused to give my best.

Ederson Manchester City outfield

“It is all about hard work and concentration. Our team has been able to play such great football, but we work very hard making sure we understand our roles and duties.

“Everything we have been practicing in the training sessions, we have brought it into the games and I strongly believe that if we keep going, in the same way which is our goal, we can go even further and win a lot more games.

“But if there was a situation where I was ever needed outfield, yeah, I’d definitely give it a go!” 

While Ederson’s ambition could be considered slightly unusual, he would not be the first City keeper to get a run-out if Guardiola were to make a bizarre selection call.

Back in 2005, with a side then managed by Stuart Pearce needing to beat Middlesbrough in their final fixture to snatch a UEFA Cup spot, David James was among those named on the bench.

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Rather than throw on a striker in search of a winner, Pearce opted to hand James an outfield jersey and look to use his height as a weapon in the final third.

James helped to earn a late penalty, but Robbie Fowler failed from the spot and City missed out on Europe.

Were Guardiola to be put in a similar situation towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign, would he make a similar call?