Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has returned to training after spending over three months on the sidelines. The 24-year-old, who was acquired from MLS side Columbus Crew last summer, signed a four-year deal described by some as a ‘historic transfer’. He was then sent to Bundesliga side Fortuna Düsseldorf on loan for the rest of the season. He adapted quickly to the side establishing himself as the first-choice keeper.
His progress was, however, curtailed by a persistent knee injury that required traveling to Barcelona for treatment.
Prior to his injury, the United States international played in all 17 of Düsseldorf’s Bundesliga matches in the first half of the campaign. He made 67 saves in the process, the second most of any Bundesliga shot-stopper thereby raising his profile. But in his absence, Fortuna has conceded 14 goals in just eight games and won only once since the winter break. That has left the side in a precarious position as it’s placed 16th on the 18-team table having collected 22 points.
Fortunately, Steffen is now close to making a comeback having returned to training on Wednesday. The team, managed by former Man City striker Uwe Rosler is fighting to avoid relegation at the end of the season. The City loanee could play a huge role in that regard if he stays fit for the remainder of the campaign. Although the German side would like to keep him at the club beyond this term, it’s unlikely that will happen.
With 36-year-old Claudio Bravo out of contract at the end of the season, Steffen will be expected to return to the Etihad Stadium as a capable back up to Ederson. The Brazilian made two high-profile errors in the recent Manchester derby defeat showing that he may need better competition for his spot to stay at the top of his game. Steffen is now believed to be the man to offer that competition given his strong performance in Germany.