Why Bristol City must go all out to land this talented American shot-stopper this summer

Why should Bristol City bring US goalkeeper Zack Steffen

Lee Johnson has been busy in the transfer market since the opening of the window. The Bristol City boss has brought in five new signings – Marley Watkins from Norwich, Adam Webster from Ipswich, Jack Hunt from Sheffield Wednesday, Andreas Weimann from Derby County and Scunthorpe’s Hakeeb Adelakun. Still high on the list of priorities is buying a new goalkeeper.

After Luke Steele was released, the Robins have Frank Fielding in the squad, as well as youngster Max O’Leary. Finnish stopper Niki Maenpaa, formerly at Brighton, has been training with the team but no deal has been completed yet. Reports have also linked City with a move for USA national team goalie Zack Steffen.

After playing youth football in Philadelphia Union’s youth academy, Steffen was named US Soccer Development Academy Eastern Conference Player of the Year in 2011/12.

After graduating high school, he went on to play college football for two years, representing the University of Maryland. Over the course of those two campaigns, he kept 17 clean sheets.

Zack Steffen

Interestingly enough, Steffen decided to move to Germany after his second season, signing a contract with Freiburg in the winter of 2014. He went on to play 14 games for the Reserves, conceding 21 goals and keeping 3 clean sheets.

When it was expected that he’d be promoted to the first-team, the goalkeeper made a move back to America, joining Columbus Crew.

Right after the deal was completed, Steffen moved on loan to US Soccer League side Pittsburgh Riverhounds. He recorded two clean sheets in 9 matches for them, conceding 12 goals in the process.

Subsequently, Steffen became Columbus Crew’s starting goalkeeper for the 2017 campaign, helping them through to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to Toronto.

Zack Steffen

He’s been an ever-present in the Crew goal this season as well, having already kept 7 clean sheets in 17 appearances. Steffen has played for the US U18, U20 and U23 sides, and has 3 caps for the senior team.

As far as a potential transfer to Bristol City is concerned, it will be a good deal for both the club and the player. Steffen will get the chance to polish his skills in one of the most demanding leagues in Europe, while the Robins will have an extremely talented 23-year old at their disposal. The American might be Lee Johnson’s second choice at first but he’ll surely get his chances.

Read More: 3 reasons why signing this 9-assist star is a brilliant move by Bristol City

A potential stumble could be the fact that Steffen will need a work permit to play for City, as he’s coming from outside the EU. But if all the paperwork is done and everything goes through, Bristol City will be wise to bring in Zack Steffen.

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39 Comments

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  1. As a Bristol City fan, I think we’d want Steffen to come in as our first-choice keeper. It’s a position we’re desperate for, and Steffen has shown enough to get an opportunity to lead the line.

    With that being said, we’ve made a good amount of money in transfers this season, but we don’t have much available for transfers. Our wage budget is low compared to many teams in the Championship, and we’ve lost out on loads of players due to these constraints, so it’s likely that the £15m we’ve made will go into relaxing our wage structure, ensuring we can keep hold of our better players.

    I’d like to see us put in a £5m bid, but I think the difference between the clubs is now clear. Columbus/MLS want a big-money deal, and I think that will stop any deal for Steffen in England.

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