Zack Steffen’s transfer to Manchester City a year ago figured to be the first step toward an eventual role with the English powerhouse, and it appears now that he has impressed enough in his time with Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf to be considered for a place with Pep Guardiola’s squad next season.
City’s recent EFL Cup triumph saw Claudio Bravo star, raising questions about the Chilean goalkeeper’s future as back-up to City starter Ederson. Reports have emerged stating that Bravo is not being offered a new contract with City, and that Guardiola is considering Steffen for the back-up role next season.
Steffen is currently sidelined as he deals with a knee injury, but when healthy he has been one of the few bright spots on a struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf side. Steffen made a smooth transition from MLS to the Bundesliga, playing well enough to impress Manchester City’s setup.
Becoming Ederson’s back-up would have its benefits and drawbacks, with the key issue being that minutes would be tough to come back at a time when Steffen will be expected to start in for the U.S. Men’s National Team as World Cup qualifying begins in the second half of 2020.
Fortuna Dusseldorf is interested in keeping Steffen beyond the current season, but it will ultimately be up to Steffen to decide whether he wants to continue as a starter with Dusseldorf or make the jump to Manchester City’s first team, where he could work under Pep Guardiola and serve as Ederson’s main back-up.
As things stands, there are no American goalkeepers in the Premier League, a drought that comes after almost two decades of players from Kasey Keller to Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan manned the nets in England.
The report by the Evening Standard that identified Steffen as a potential replacement for Bravo in Man City’s squad also claimed that Bravo was being offered a place with New York City FC. That link doesn’t make much sense considering NYCFC currently has USMNT goalkeeper Sean Johnson in goal. In a salary-cap league, adding a player like Bravo wouldn’t make much sense when goalkeeper is one of the team’s strongest positions.