Alexander Nubel has completed a two-year move to AS Monaco in Ligue 1 as Sven Ulreich has returned to Bayern Munich to serve as Manuel Neuer’s backup once again. Now, Nubel’s starting hopes at Monaco have been fortuitously bolstered by the injury to Benjamin Lecomte (Get French Football News). Lecomte suffered a quadricep injury in Monaco’s 3-1 friendly win over RB Salzburg on Saturday and will now likely face three to five weeks on the sideline.
Aside from a brief stint on the sidelines last winter due to a hand injury, Lecomte was Niko Kovac’s #1 keeper at Monaco and featured 28 times across all competitions. During his brief injury absence in the winter, backup keeper Vito Mannone filled in for him. Kovac had also used Radoslaw Majecki in the majority of Monaco’s Coupe de France matches. Lecomte has reportedly had multiple issues with his quad in the past, and much like Neuer’s metatarsal issue, had been rushed back far too quickly in the past, which caused re-aggravation of the injury.
While Nubel might’ve been the starter regardless of Lecomte’s status, the injury the to French keeper makes it all but certain that 24-year-old will be the starter for at least the beginning of Monaco’s Ligue 1 2021/22 campaign. Nubel’s agent, Stefan Backs had recently made it clear on Florian Plettenberg’s “Meine Bayern Woche” podcast that Nubel had several discussions with Kovac prior to the deal being struck with Bayern, during which the former Bayern manager outlined what his vision was for Nubel. During those productive conversations, it’s assumed that ample playing and starting time was a topic of discussion between the two. Kovac was well aware of the clause in Nubel’s contract at Bayern when he signed from Schalke 04 that stipulated he would play at least ten matches and he knew that didn’t even come close to being met last season. If Kovac hadn’t of offered some sort of guarantee to Nubel like that, it’s likely he would’ve gone elsewhere.
Monaco’s Ligue 1 campaign officially kicks off on August 8th against Nantes, but before that, they have friendlies scheduled against Cercle Brugge and VfL Wolfsburg, respectively.