Borussia Dortmund’s new signing from VfB Stuttgart recently did an interview with Sport Bild where he admitted that Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer is a true inspiration to him. The Swiss keeper was signed from Stuttgart this summer for €15 million this summer and will offer competition for both Marwin Hitz and Roman Burki. He’s had spells with Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga in addition to Stuttgart, but he said he has bold ambitions to go on an reach the same levels that Neuer has reached. (BuliNews).
“I don’t want to compare myself with Manuel Neuer yet. I’m still a long way off, especially in terms of success. Of course, my goal is to reach Neuer’s level in the future. But I still have a lot to achieve before then,” the 23-year-old keeper explained. While he might not be Dortmund’s nailed on starter under new manager Marco Rose, moving to a club like Dortmund was certainly a step in the right direction if he wants to reach the similar levels as Neuer, who moved from Schalke to Bayern in 2011 after spending all of his youth career in Gelsenkirchen.
Kobel couldn’t help but his express his admiration for who’s now a bitter Bundesliga rival as Dortmund will be trying to dethrone Bayern for the first time since Jurgen Klopp was manager at the Westfalenstadion. “He’s an outstanding goalkeeper, who has proved himself through his performances for many years and who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. My respect for him is enormous. I see Neuer as an inspiration and an incentive,” Kobel said of Bayern’s keeper.
While a starting spot for Kobel is 100% guaranteed at Dortmund, Marco Rose has alluded to the fact that such will probably be the case. “If we get Gregor, he will be number 1,” specifically referring to Dortmund’s first round DFB-Pokal matchup against SV Wehen Wiesbaden. Rose added that the onus is on Kobel to fight for his number 1 status at Dortmund: “But that’s (number 1 status) not set in stone. He has to show that the jersey isn’t too heavy. The other guys put pressure on from behind and work hard,” Rose explained (Sport.de).
For Kobel’s sake, Burki has also been linked with a potential move abroad this summer. AS Roma, Olympique Marseille, and Atletico Madrid have all shown interest, but there have not been any formal bids lodged for the keeper. Rose has been impressed with his performances in training and preseason, but still sees a move as the most realistic option: “He did an excellent job (in training). Nevertheless, a move still seems the most likely option for Bürki.”