Manuel Neuer is finally back fit for Bayern Munich and it has been confirmed by the club that he is expected to mark his official return to action for this weekend’s Bundesliga clash against Darmstadt. He was given the green light to part take as early as last weekend’s win over Mainz, but the club wanted to take every precaution necessary to make sure he is ready for action.
In Neuer’s absence, Sven Ulreich has stood firm between the sticks for Bayern, and summer signing Daniel Peretz also recorded a clean sheet in Bayern’s 4-0 win over SC Preußen Münster in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Now, with Neuer back and expected to re-assume his role as the number one keeper as of this weekend, Ulreich will now act as the backup keeper, with Peretz behind him in the pecking order.
Thomas Tuchel recently expressed how grateful he is for how well Ulreich has stood in for Neuer as Bayern’s number one keeper, and also mentioned that Ulreich is well aware of the situation, knowing his role will now go back to being a backup to Neuer. “He can do that because he clearly knows his role and doesn’t see himself as a competitor, but rather he and Manu are friends. He knows about Manu’s honest support and best wishes. So it will be the other way around as soon as possible Manu has returned,” Tuchel recently explained to kicker after the win over Mainz.
Ulreich made a sensational save in Copenhagen in the Champions League to save two points for Bayern, and he also made a big save against Mainz, for which Tuchel highlighted as a showcase of what Ulreich is truly capable of. “Ulle made a sensational save shortly before the end in Copenhagen, including today. I’m very happy for him that he can prove that,” Tuchel lauded.
The goalkeeping situation at Bayern now comes full circle, as the club’s decision to not sign a proper number one keeper was met with justifiable speculation. They were 100% in the market for a top class keeper after both Yann Sommer and Alexander Nübel left the club during the summer transfer window, but there were a lot of moving parts with their desired targets. Ultimately, they had a change of heart and decided they would instead look for an Ulreich backup with him acting as the number one in Neuer’s absence, leading to the signing of Peretz from Maccabi Tel Aviv.