Barcelona could start the 2021-22 season without their first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the German international continues his recovery from a knee injury, according to Spanish outlet AS (via Barca Blaugranes).
Ter Stegen suffered a knee injury towards the end of last season which also saw him miss Euro 2020 with Germany.
The German goalkeeper is still a long way away from a full recovery and is targeting a comeback by mid-September. This means that he will miss Barcelona’s opening three games of the new La Liga season.
The games Ter Stegen is expected to miss include Barcelona’s home games against Real Sociedad and Getafe and an away game against Athletic Bilbao. If things do go as per plan, Ter Stegen could return for Barcelona’s trip to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium to face Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla on the 12th of September.
Barcelona could face a goalkeeping crisis in the absense of Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper since the 2016-17 season. The 29-year-old former Borussia Mönchengladbach number one was instrumental in Barcelona’s treble-winning season of 2015.
But due to his knee injury, manager Ronald Koeman was forced to play Neto in goal for the final few games of the previous season. Neto could very well play a role in Barcelona’s start to the new season as well.
But Neto is one of the many fringe players Barcelona are looking to offload this summer due to their financial problems. Apart from Neto, Barca are also keen on selling Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanić.
If Barcelona decide to sell Neto, Ronald Koeman will be forced into playing Barcelona B goalkeeper Inaki Pena. The 22-year-old Spaniard has represented Barcelona B on 54 occasions but is yet to make a first-team start for the club.
Despite him being a promising young goalkeeper, Barcelona are not totally convinced by Inaki Pena and could sign a new goalkeeper as backup to Ter Stegen if they decide to sell Neto.
Barcelona have been linked with a move for Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. But they are yet to make an official move for him.