Even though Barcelona is in contention for trophies every season, it is never a bad time to start thinking towards the long term. The big conflict that has arisen recently is the goalkeeper situation. Both Marc-André ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo can make a case for being Barca number one goalkeeper on the depth chart, and it seems that in his third season with the club, Ter Stegen will be made that man.
After Ter Stegen’s injury prior to the 2014-15 season, Bravo’s performances in La Liga over the last two years at goalkeeper for Barcelona have propelled his status from a relative unknown prior to being considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Ter Stegen has been Barcelona’s "cup keeper" over the last two seasons, helping Barcelona win one Champions League crown and two Copa del Rey trophies. He has shown that he is capable of being Barcelona’s goalkeeper of not only the future, but the present as well. He feels that he is ready to play more consistently. It is hard to disagree with him.
Having shown tremendous growth in his short time at Barca despite inconsistent playing time throughout, Ter Stegen has proven his worth that he is ready to lead Barcelona in La Liga.
As with any other position in football, goalkeepers improve by playing regularly. If Ter Stegen wants to reach the next level of his development, he needs to play every week.
Keeping the recent status quo for a third straight season could only hinder his growth instead of letting it flourish. This is a big proponent on why he wants a clear answer on his present and future at Barcelona.
Prior to arriving in Catalonia, Ter Stegen had reportedly been scouted by Barca as far back as early 2013 when reports of a link came out. Ter Stegen is everything that embodies a Barcelona keeper, and is arguably already the best goalkeeper in the world with the ball at his feet and at distribution.
Letting Ter Stegen leave now would bring a blow to the club’s long term plans and would have them scrambling for another goalkeeper sooner rather than later.
Ter Stegen’s agent talked with the club today, spoke of Manchester City’s interest, and discussed the player’s future, no demands made.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) August 2, 2016
Bravo is 33 years old, and while his surge over the last years has been nothing short of impressive, it is time for the club to consider its long term plan. Ter Stegen needs to be made the starting goalkeeper.
Reports have come out saying that Bravo would want to leave if Ter Stegen is given the starting job for the upcoming season. No one would blame him for wanting to. He has been playing the best football of his career and would now have a chance to play in the Champions League, a competition he has never competed in before.
Cat Radio say Bravo met last week to tell Barça that if he's not a starter next season then he's leaving. €40M buyout.— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) August 2, 2016
Bravo and Ter Stegen have both led Barcelona to success in their short time here, however one is already at his peak, while the other is not far behind with potential that knows no bounds. The choice should be simple for the club, and fans should hope that it is taken quickly with the season fast approaching.