Arsenal Target Rene Adler & 4 More European Keepers To Look At
Arsenal have been linked to a new keeper all season after unconvincing displays from the incumbents, and have this morning been linked to Rene Adler. Here's everything you need to know about him and four others who operate at a higher level than the Szczesny & Fabianski...
Rene Adler (Hamburg) Anyone with a vested interest in European football will know all about Rene Adler. Coming through the ranks at Bayer Leverkusen he was touted as the true successor to Oliver Kahn, and the stage was set for Adler to showcase his talent at the 2010 World Cup. Then he picked up a rib injury which meant he missed the tournament, and was plagued by a knee injury which cost him a year of his career. When he returned he found Bernd Leno was now above him in the pecking order, and instead of a big-money move to one of Europe’s elite, this summer he joined Hamburg on a free transfer. This season he has put his injuries behind him and has established himself as the excellent goalkeeper that he always was which explains why HSV were willing to give him a five-year contract despite his injury troubles. There has been mention of a potential release clause in the deal, and at 27 he still has plenty of years ahead of him, which may prompt a club in need of a top ‘keeper to test their resolve, as there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best stoppers on the continent.
Marc-André ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach)
ter Stegen is the best in the world of his age group. There are a plethora of young, talented, German stoppers coming through the ranks, but the Gladbach man is the cream of the crop. He had a fantastic season in 11/12 as Die Fohlen made it to Champions League qualifiers but failed to reach the group stages, and has continued to his fine form in to this campaign. Despite just being 20 his understanding of the game belies his tender years, and his all round game is extremely impressive. As with many modern ‘keepers he is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Stéphane Ruffier (Saint-Étienne)
Ruffier has been one of the most consistent and underrated stoppers in Ligue 1 for the past few seasons, playing an instrumental role in ASSE’s resurgence from relegation candidates to European hopefuls. He was famously ‘accidentally’ kicked in the chest by Zlatan Ibrahimovic earlier in the season when the two contested for the ball, which resulted in the Swede being sent off, but he is on course for his best season yet as Saint-Étienne look to try and secure Champions League football next season. Still on the peripheries of the national team setup, his lack of international experience may make him a more affordable option than some of the other alternatives, making him a potential bargain.
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Zieler was at Old Trafford for five years as a youngster before joining Hannover on a free transfer following a successful trial in 2010. Since then, the young German has established himself not only as 96’s number one but also one of the best young ‘keepers in Europe. With fierce competition for a place in the national team squad – not to mention arguably the best goalkeeper in the world as the bonafide first choice stopper – it is testament to his development and ability that he was given his international debut more than a year ago.
Maarten Stekelenburg (Roma)
Much older than the others mentioned in this list, the Holland international has fallen out of favour in the capital this season, losing his place to Mauro Goicoechea and spending the past few months on the bench. His skill set as a stopper is certainly more suited to a league like the Premier League, as he has the physical stature to deal with the style of play. With him not wanting to lose his place in the national team, Stekelenburg has been strongly linked with a move away in January, and England seems a likely destination. He was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford before they signed De Gea – Stekelenburg also ended up moving in the same window as the Spaniard did – and a move now would be a shrewd piece of business as Roma only paid €6m to sign him originally. Whilst he’s 30, there is still plenty of football left in him.