Borussia Monchengladbach's 21-year-old German international goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the rumoured successor to Barcelona's departing No. 1 Victor Valdes. Should Ter Stegen leave Gladbach for Barca?
According to Football Espana, no one definitively knows if Ter Stegen has plans to sign for Barca: "Talk has been split between a rumoured pre-contract agreement in place with the Catalans, and his club Borussia Monchengladbach asserting no contact has been made amid contract renegotiations."
Barcelona have already confirmed that Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a candidate to fill the void left by Victor Valdes, who has yet to renegade on his plan to walk away from Barcelona in the pursuit of a new experience.
"We have been looking for a goalkeeper since Valdes announced he wanted to leave," Barca vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu said, from RAC1 via Sky Sports. "Ter Stegen and Reina are within our range of options."
While he was thankful for the woodwork bailing him out twice, Ter Stegen made eight saves during the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, reinforcing the view of him being a world-class keeper.
Former German international Jens Lehmann believes Ter Stegen would succeed at Barca.
"Ter Stegen would be a great goalie for Barça," Lehmann said, via Juan Castro at Marca. "He'd adapt well to the Spanish league, he plays well with both feet and Barça's style of play would suit him down to the ground."
Three-time European Cup-winning goalkeeper Sepp Maier said Ter Stegen is "virtually on par with Manuel Neuer", from Bild via Clark Whitney at Goal.com.
Do you know what Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have in common? Both have had their penalties saved by Ter Stegen.
Before you think Ter Stegen is just the flavour of the month, remember that he was ranked the No. 1 goalkeeper in Europe's elite leagues last March, according to Bleacher Report.
So the hype surrounding Ter Stegen is warranted.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is taller, younger, has a higher upside and commands his box better than Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes.
Reina needs Barcelona more than Barcelona needs him.
Graduating from La Masia is the only advantage Reina has over Ter Stegen.
|Tale Of The Tape||Ter Stegen||Reina||Valdes|
|Height||6'3" (1.90 m)||6'2" (1.88 m)||6'0" (1.83 m)|
|Weight||187 lbs (85 kg)||203 lbs (92 kg)||172 lbs (78 kg)|
Statistically Comparing Ter Stegen to Reina and Valdes
|League Only||Ter Stegen||Reina||Valdes|
|Saves Per Goal Conceded||3.5||3.4||5.0|
|Pass Completion %||76||65.6||56.9|
|Long Passes Per Game %||49.4||42.5||28.7|
|Passes Per Game||39.2||21||16.6|
All three keepers have healthy statistics but Ter Stegen's ball-playing prowess makes him an ideal No. 1 for Barca.
Statistically, Valdes' passing is standard when compared to other goalkeepers but in Barça's possession-orientated system, he is a liability with the ball at his feet this season.
@barcastuff tweeted today: "Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (21) will soon confirm that he will join Barcelona. [md]"
If Barcelona are willing to buy an up-and-coming German centre-back such as Robin Knoche or Matthias Ginter, then Ter Stegen's acclimatisation to Catalonia will be smoother.
He will feel more wanted that Barça are going the extra mile in signing a German defender just to help him on and off the field.
There is an opening at Barca and Ter Stegen should take it if he has aspirations to be Germany's future No. 1.