When it was announced that Bayern Munich had signed Alexander Nübel on a free transfer from Schalke, there was a wide array of emotions. Sure, the Bavarians had just signed one of the best young goalkeepers in Germany without a transfer fee; however, with the world’s best goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer, a veteran backup in Sven Ulreich, and a promising future star in Christian Früchtl, where does Nübel fit in the squad?
Legendary Bayern goalkeeper Sepp Maier has an idea for Nübel: a loan — back to Schalke.
In an interview with Sportbuzzer, Maier gave his opinion on the goalkeeper situation at Säbener Straße, and the legend had some simple advice for Nübel.
"He has to play, he’s too good for the bench," Maier said. "A loan would be an option. Ideally to FC Schalke 04. He knows the surroundings and the team there."
Maier is expressing a thought here that's certainly crossed the mind of many Bayern supporters. What good is it for a 23 year old goalkeeper to be sitting on the bench when he should be playing? Nübel has certainly shown that he has the potential to be a great goalkeeper in Europe; however, he’s been unable to find the consistency required to take him to the next level at this point.
But, what about the day-to-day training alongside Neuer with the occasional start? Maier doesn’t find that as valuable as actual games. “Perhaps he can pick up a little bit.” Maier continued, “if I have talent, I can continue to develop alone with a good goalkeeping coach.”
Maier also wants Nübel to be a little more realistic in his approach with joining Bayern. There’s a Number One in Munich, and his name is Manuel Neuer.
“Nübel won’t be able to displace Manuel Neuer anyway, never - unless Neuer gets hurt.” Maier wants Nübel to play not sit. “Otherwise, Nübel has to wait until Neuer ends his career. I don’t see any possibility of a regime change in goal before then. It could still be a few years before Neuer quits. Those would be wasted years for Nübel in my eyes.”
One has to hope that the Bayern board heed some of the advice that Maier is laying out here. Nübel shouldn’t be wasting away on the bench behind Neuer when he’s currently not good enough to take the number one spot. A loan makes sense for all parties.