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Mannschaft Planen: Building without Manuel Neuer

The puns get worse and worse.

SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Note: As is the nature of Mannschaft Planen, this article will not only ignore transfer rumours, but players linked with Bayern Munich will be actively avoided. The point is to present alternative options, so don’t expect Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Daniel Peretz to be on this list.

Nick Olij

Sparta Rotterdam v Feyenoord - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by NESimages/Herman Dingler/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this, but Sparta Rotterdam’s defense has been garbage. Playing a 4-3-3 with an advanced midfielder that has been the standard in the Netherlands for a few years, the isolated defense has been poor, but Rotterdam have been saved from conceding ungodly amounts of goals by Nick Olij. The 28-year-old is the best shot-stopper in the Eredivisie, and can pair that with a wide range of passing. Olij is unafraid to pass it long but has the ability to contribute well to build up with simple passes to the wing-backs and full-backs, making him a satisfactory distributor, but his pure shot-stopping quality and also his command of the box make him desirable, as Olij consistently showcases his ability to claim crosses and communicate effectively with his defenders during such situations. Olij is quite tall at 188cm too.

Olij is valued at €3m by Transfermarkt, and Bayern would likely get him for no more than €5m, significantly cheaper than Daniel Peretz.

Player Quality: 9/10
Potential Price: 8/10
TOTAL: 17/20 (85%)


GD Estoril v Gil Vicente FC - Liga Portugal Bwin Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

A slightly different profile to Olij is that of Andrew da Silva Ventura, or just Andrew. The 22-year-old Brazilian currently plies his trade in the Portuguese league for Gil Vicente, a league known for creating some of the best goalkeepers in European football right now.

However, Andrew is something else. Not just a great shot-stopper, which he is with a fantastic save percentage and a great catalogue of saves over the last year or so, but he is extremely comfortable coming out of his box. Andrew’s control over his own box may not be as concrete as Olij’s but it is still a veritable command, but where Andrew really shines is out of the box. Andrew is a proper sweeper, coming out of the box multiple times a game on average to stop attackers and is one of the best keepers in the world at build-up, with one of the lowest number of long passes attempted in Europe despite getting the ball more often than most keepers do. Andrew plays it short and simple every time, and this is crucial to Bayern’s build up. At 189cm, Andrew is ever so slightly taller than Olij which should help him in learning to command his own box too and let him pull off some of the saves that we saw Yann Sommer unable to perform due to his height. While it is posited that shot-stopping would be the primary aspect to look at and Andrew does pass that bar, he is also a potentially world class ball player who must be studied closer.

Andrew is valued at €2.5m by Transfermarkt, and Bayern would likely get him for a fee of around €3.5-4m, once again significantly cheaper than Daniel Peretz.

Player Quality: 10/10
Potential Price: 9/10
TOTAL: 19/20 (90%)

Andries Noppert

FC Utrecht v sc Heerenveen - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by Nesimages/Michael Bulder/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Andries Noppert is one of the more underrated goalkeepers in Europe.

The 29-year-old Dutch keeper is a giant in net at 203 cm, and backs it up with surprising agility for a man of his stature. While he’s had to face some bad situations defensively, he’s still been wildly impressive for Heerenveen in the Eredivisie. Noppert is a beast in building up too, as he gets the ball a lot in Heerenveen’s system but like the other two, has a very low tendency to go long or make misplaced passes as he prefers playing simple forward passes. What sets Noppert apart in build-up is his ability to read ahead, as most keepers they look to play the most basic passes but Noppert is able to sense movement seconds in advance and pre-empt his body language to disguise the pass or move in the direction to play it. With his impressive silhouette, it is no surprise that Noppert has one of the best cross stopping success rates in Europe, but Noppert also uses his agility laterally, coming out of his box multiple times to sweep up, the perfect complement to Bayern’s high line.

Noppert is valued at €4.5m by Transfermarkt, but has a contract expiring next year which could be used as a bargaining chip by Bayern. He likely will cost around valuation, maybe up to €5m. Still cheaper than Daniel Peretz.

Player Quality: 9/10
Potential Price: 8/10
TOTAL: 17/20 (85%)

What do you think of our picks? Is there anyone else you would have considered? Let us know in the discussion below.

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