When Alexander Nübel was signed by Bayern Munich from Schalke 04, everyone thought that they have now found a worthy successor to fellow ex-Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
However, Neuer being the undisputed starter has proved difficult for Nübel who wanted more playing time. This culminated in him going to AS Monaco on loan in hopes of playing more games and to show his talent.
His early days away on loan didn’t go so well, conceding 11 goals in the first 10 games in all competitions. Being the understudy of Neuer also added a bit of unnecessary pressure and earned him criticism for his performances. Nübel, however, did not let that affect his game and instead uses it to improve continuously.
“I think the comparisons [to Neuer] were part [of the criticism]. Luckily, I couldn’t read the newspapers over here,” Nübel said with a laugh to journalist Luke Entwistle from Get French Football News. “The criticism was very hard, too hard in the beginning. I wasn’t playing at my top level, but nor was I playing as badly as what was being reported. You have to handle it. For me, the most important thing is the criticism from my goalkeeping coach (Frederic de Boever), and from the manager. These guys tell me the truth every day.”
Nübel has certainly come a long way and most recently won Monaco’s Player of the Month award for September.