The form of Marc Andre Ter Stegen has been a major talking point in recent years, at FC Barcelona. The German goalkeeper was bought in 2014 from Borussia Monchengladbach as the replacement of club legend Victor Valdes. Until the end of Luis Enrique’s era, Ter Stegen was at the top of his game. However, frequent managerial changes seem to have taken a toll on his form.
What has gone wrong for Ter Stegen?
The last three years have seen Barcelona change three managers. It is never a good sign. Post the Luis Enrique era, the team training sessions lost their intensity, and that over the years, seems to have taken its toll on the form of MATS. Also, the defense and their shambolic performances against Roma, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League finals was enough for the 30-year-old to not feel confident in his backline. That said, years of poor defensive showing by Barca have left the German with low confidence.
Barcelona want competition for MATS
Barca are actively looking at rebuilding their squad in their next summer. The club has recognized the need of bringing in immediate defensive reinforcements and are said to be closing in on finalizing the free transfers of Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. The club has also been linked with a move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde but it remains to be seen how concrete their interest is, in the Frenchman.
The Sporting area has also recognized the need of bringing in a new goalkeeper, to compete with Ter Stegen. Inaki Pena was tipped to be the chosen one but left for a loan to Galatasaray this past winter. Last night, when Barca took on Galatasaray, Pena was exceptional in denying Barca the chance to open the scoring.
Speaking about Pena, Xavi said,” The plan was for Iñaki Peña to leave on loan to return back to Barcelona and this idea hasn’t changed. He was brave to leave and I’m very happy for him, although he made our night bitter”
Inaki Pena could be with the first team next season
Barcelona have been trying to offload Neto for a while now. They have been unsuccessful at finding a club for Neto and are now said to be planning on offering the ‘letter of freedom’ to the Brazilian. The club also intends to pay out the remainder of his contract, which runs until 2023. Barca will only resort to this option if they are unable to sell him this summer as well. This is as per Catalunya Radio.
With Neto likely to leave next summer, Pena could enter the first-team dynamics, finally. The La Masia graduate was very impressive at Camp Nou and the player feels that he is ready to represent Barcelona. The 23-year-old took the UEFA Europa League outing against Barca as a chance to prove himself.
“I do see myself prepared to play for Barcelona, I had to go out to prove it”
Do you think Barca will sign a new goalkeeper or will they invest their faith in Pena?
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.