League of Ireland supporters, particularly those of a Shamrock Rovers persuasion will remember a 16-year-old Gavin Bazunu bursting onto the scene in the summer of 2018.
At the time, Stephen Bradley’s side were enduring a desperate stint with goalkeepers.
The excellent Alan Mannus was long gone, for pastures new. Tomer Chencinski was number one between the sticks in Tallaght at the time, with Kevin Horgan acting as back-up. Unfortunately, for Hoops fans, neither man was unable to present themselves as a consistently reliable figure for the famous Dublin outfit.
So, in the June of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign, Bazunu was handed his senior debut against a struggling Bray Wanderers.
It was a comfortable 5-0 start against the Seagulls. He would go on to show more heroics in his following three league appearances.
Most notably, saving a Kieran Sadlier penalty in Turner’s Cross, somewhat foreshadowing his save from a Cristiano Ronaldo spot-kick while representing Ireland, something that truly trusted him into the mainstream limelight.
Shortly after, in September of the same year, it was officially announced that Bazunu had joined Premier League giants, Manchester City, for a reported fee of £420,000.
Impressive individual performances throughout loan spells with Rochdale, and Portsmouth, where he’s currently plying his trade, earned him continuous international call-ups. Along with huge admiration on his growing development.
While many have tipped him to become a future number one at the Etihad. With Bazunu himself admitting this to be his long-term goal. The question remains, will he be provided with that opportunity?
The now 20-year-old shot stopper is subject to significant interest from established Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A clubs. The Firhouse native could leave the reigning Premier League champions this summer on a permanent basis, if a suitable bid is received.
Bazunu, who has two-years left on his current contract, will return to his parent club to begin discussions on his future, when his loan spell at League One side Pompey comes to an end.
Sky’s The Limit
His progress since leaving Shamrock Rovers has been immense. Which is evident by his 17 clean sheets in the English third tier this season. Along with his 10 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
According to reports, Gavin Bazunu will rely heavily on the advice of Manchester City goalkeeping coach Xabi Mancisidor. As the pair have allegedly struck up a strong and trusting relationship.
It’s expected City will offer the Dubliner a contract extension. With the view of further loan moves to bolster his ever-growing tally of senior football appearances.
American Zach Steffen has recently signed a new contract to remain as understudy to, Ederson. However, following Steffen’s calamitous display against Liverpool, in his sides recent FA Cup semi-final defeat, plenty of ‘Cityzens’ took to social media to show their desire to see Bazunu act as number two, behind his Brazilian counterpart.
However, it’s believed that Bazunu has no interest in a back-up position at the highest level. With regular first team football deemed to be his preference at this stage of his young career.
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a fruitfully long vocation for Bazunu. It’s clear to see he’s put himself in a fantastic position ahead of some extremely hefty decisions throughout the summer.
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