Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – the young stopper of Spanish giants and reigning European Champions FC Barcelona has faced a dicey situation of late. Having risen through the youth ranks of Borussia Monchengladbach, the young German made a swoop to the Catalan team in 2014 for a transfer fee of €12 million. Highly regarded for his sweeper-keeper role, he was expected to be the No 1 choice within the sticks as long-serving goalies for the team i.e Victor Valdes and Jose Manuel Pinto was nearing the exit door of Camp Nou. However, it hasn’t been exactly the ideal scenario for him as he has often been seen playing for the Catalans in UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey with the more experienced Claudio Bravo being assigned the task of guarding the goal-post in La Liga fixtures.
This apparently has frustrated him who has recently been quoted saying that whilst the team’s goals have been met (a historic treble in first season itself), his personal goals is something he wants to meet and wants to play week-in, week out, as he is often tipped to be the successor of Manuel Neuer for the national team and 25 matches per season, is apparently not enough for him. With having made just 4 appearances in the league matches and having being asked by the Barcelona board to stay with the rotational policy till 2017, it seems that the German is looking for life somewhere else where he can be the first choice goalkeeper for the team.
With Liverpool and Manchester City being reportedly interested in acquiring his services, let’s analyse as to which team he should ideally join:
The once extremely formidable team from England, they have seen their fortuned plummet for long. While under Brendan Rodgers they almost ended up winning the Premier League, yet their performances have not kept the Anfield supporters happy. They have recently signed the highly rated and dynamic coach Jurgen Klopp as their manager as they seek to turn around their fortunes, which has been a bag of mixed results so far. One of the main areas which has seen them stutter is the goalkeeping duty currently performed by Belgium’s Simon Mignolet and he has been quite wayward, to say the least. Although a couple of good performances have been noted and he has been given a 5-year contract extension, it is no longer a secret that Klopp would be looking for an able replacement this summer and Ter Stegen has topped the list.Klopp has seen plenty of him during his managerial days at Borussia Dortmund and would remember the performance wherein Ter Stegen’s heroics between the sticks ensured that his then team i.e Borussia Monchengladbach walk away with a famous 1-0 victory. Such inspiring performances since then including winning the “Best Save” award for his spectacular “goal-line” save against Bayern Munich, in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final would definitely have caught his eyes. Along with this, the fact that Ter Stegen is comfortable with having the ball at his feet outside the 18-yard box suits the playing style of Klopp who always look to counter and such a key skill set will definitely make him a favourite.That said Liverpool at present would probably be playing in Europe at the Europa League stage and having tasted blood with Champions League victory in his first season, it might look as if he would go to a different Premier League club, which brings us to the second club i.e
Having announced that Pep Guardiola would be taking over next season from Manuel Pellegrini, there have been rumours flying thick and fast that Pep has identified the core areas and players that he wants to buy as they look to build on a European powerhouse name. Currently sitting at fourth in the league standings and having qualified to the Quarter-Finals of UEFA Champions League for the first time in the history, the team is looking to be rejigged big time in the upcoming transfer season. And although the position of their current shot-stopper aka Joe Hart is not under immediate threat, Pep is apparently lining up a move for Ter Stegen to challenge the authority of the Englishman. The current Barcelona shot-stopper has the highest percentage of successful pass accuracy in the UEFA Champions League, even going past his countryman Manuel Neuer, an area that is of paramount importance for the game build-up under Pep Guardiola and thus, he is keen on acquiring his services when he takes over next season.This situation again builds up an interesting foreplay as although they look almost certain to be in Europe’s Premier Competition next season, which might bode well for the young German, yet it brings him into a situation similar to current one wherein 2 world class goalkeepers are vying to be the No 1 choice. Considering an optimum situation where Ter Stegen is made the first choice keeper, it is highly unlikely that Joe Hart would be ready to play second fiddle in the team where his position has hardly been challenged.
Thus looking into the depth of both the clubs interested in signing him, we think it’s in his best interest that he stays at Barcelona for one more season and then decide the future course of action. However, if he is adamant in his thoughts that lack of playing time will hamper his progress for the national team, he should move to Merseyside club rather than Manchester City.