Man City new boy Zack Steffen ready for his debut next week
Goalkeeper explains why he was happy to come to Manchester City and start as number two to Edersonby Stuart Brennan
Zack Steffen is set to make his Manchester City debut in the Carabao Cup third round next week.
But the Blues’ newcomer is in no rush to make a first team place his own, and acknowledges that Ederson is the man in possession.
USA national team keeper Steffen has replaced Claudio Bravo as number two at the Etihad Stadium and has been training with the squad since they returned a fortnight ago.
The management at City want Steffen to push Brazil international Ederson – he is a young, ambitious player rather than one at the tail-end of his career like Bravo.
But Steffen, who had a successful season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf last season, until it was curtailed by a knee injury, is being diplomatic when it comes to trying to dislodge a keeper who was awarded an unprecedented seven-year contract in 2018.
The new boy is almost certain to start when either Bournemouth or Crystal Palace - who meet in the second round tomorrow night - arrive at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, September 24.
Steffen says he is happy to return to City rather than go out on loan again, saying: “It was pretty obvious.
“Getting games every week for a young goalkeeper is very important. But I signed with City, I wanted to come to City and learn from the best of the best - learn from Pep, learn from (goalkeeper coach) Xabi (Mancisidor) and (goalkeeper coach) Rich (Wright), and learn from Eddie.
“And then there are all the top players here at this club. I wanted to come to the club - I want to get better, become better. And I believe that in doing that, you got to play with the best.”
Asked if he is coming in as number two, or whether he aims to challenge Ederson from day one, again he was circumspect.
“My mindset is just to come in and work really hard, learn every day, get better every day. Enjoy the ride,” he said.
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“Because it's short, goes by fast and everything else will fall into line how it's meant to, how it's supposed to. But yeah, my mentality is to come and work hard.
“Leave everything that I have out on the field every day in training, support the guys and just learn from the best.”
Steffen has earned a reputation as a good shot-stopper – famously saving a Wayne Rooney penalty while playing for Columbus Crew in the MLS – as well as being very good with his feet.
He started out as an outfield player as a kid, but says the biggest influence in playing out from the back is USA team coach, and Guardiola devotee, Gregg Berhalter.
“I switched when I was young, probably when I was 10 or 11, but I think it helps,” he said.
“And then I would say just playing at Columbus with Gregg Berhalter - he really loves Pep’s style. He loves to keep the ball, loves his goalkeepers to be able to play out from the back, read the game well and do all that, so that definitely helped me transition into this position.
“He was the coach when all this was happening at Columbus. We had many talks and he was supporting me with whatever I wanted to do. He definitely gave some great advice. He pushed me and just wants the best for me, on and off the field.
“He thinks that coming to this team will teach me a lot. I'll grow and get better. We're definitely in talks about getting games and maintaining game form and all that stuff.
“But as long as I work hard and get better every day, and do all the little things that I can, all that will fall into line, how it's meant to.”