Bayern Munich are still searching for a replacement goalkeeper but have now narrowed their options down to two: signing Yann Sommer from Borussia Mönchengladbach or having to either basically kidnap Alexander Nübel from AS Monaco or hope Nübel pulls off an Anthony Modeste. So far, Bayern are leaning towards Sommer, but Eike Immel thinks that they should pass on him.
According to a report from Tz, the former Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart, and Manchester City stalwart isn’t a fan of the 34-year-old Swiss shot-stopper who is currently haggling with Gladbach on a new deal. Immel says that a certain characteristic should rule out the ex-Basel man from moving to Bavaria. Can you guess what it is?
Correct, Immel thinks that Sommer (1.83m / 6’ 0”) is too short to be the next Bayern goalie.
“When I was goalkeeping coach at Fenerbahçe [from 2003 to 2005], when I was looking for new goalkeepers, I wasn’t even interested in candidates under 1.87 meters [6’ 2]”, Immel recalled.
Immel also thinks he knows the reason for the many parades of the Swiss. “I don’t want to say anything negative, but Neuer doesn’t have to throw himself down with every ball or make a huge save, which Sommer makes a world-class save from,” the 62-year-old said. “While one has easily intercepted the ball, the other is in praised heaven.” For comparison, Neuer is 1.93 meters tall (6’ 4”).
Speaking of Neuer, Immel took time to praise Bayern’s skipper. “He’s an outstanding number one and has an enormous influence on the goalkeepers, especially from the youth,” Immel quipped. “Neuer’s style of play requires ‘a certain eye to play so far out there’. In addition, courage and technical skills. But also luck.”
For me, height is a bit negligible when it comes to good goalkeepers. Sure, you have giants like Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois (1.99m / 6’ 6”), PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma (1.96m / 6’ 5”), and Newcastle’s Nick Pope (1.99m / 6’ 6“).
But there are good yet short goalies like Jorge Campos who stood at just 1.70m or 5’ 7”; he’s in the same class as Chicago Fire and ex-Bayern man Xherdan Shaqiri (1.69m / 5’ 7”) and World Cup winner Lionel Messi (1.70m / 5’ 7”). Plus, we’ve all seen what Sommer can do; he can
give Bayern fans conniptions put on a masterclass performance, so why risk that over the fact that he’s not that tall?