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 coach AS (via Barca Blaugranes).
Ter Stegen suffered a knee injury towards the end of last season which saw him also miss Euro 2020 with Germany.
The German goalkeeper is still far from a complete recovery and is aiming for a return in mid-September. This means that he will miss the opening of Barcelona in three games of the new La Liga season.
Missing Ter Stegen games include Barcelona’s home games against Real Sociedad and Getafe and an away game against Athletic Bilbao. If things go as planned, Ter Stegen could return for Barcelona’s trip to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium to face Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla on 12 September.
Barcelona could face a goalkeeper crisis in the absence of Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper since the 2016-17 season. Borussia’s former number one Mönchengladbach, 29, was instrumental in Barcelona’s 2015 treble season.
But due to a knee injury, manager Ronald Koeman was forced to play Neto in goal for the final few games of the previous season. Neto could also play a role in the start of Barcelona’s new season.
But Neto is one of many players Barcelona are looking to dump this summer because of their financial problems. In addition to Neto, Barca are also interested in selling Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanić.
If Barcelona decide to sell Neto, Ronald Koeman will be forced to play for Barcelona B goalkeeper Inaki Pena. The 22-year-old Spaniard has represented Barcelona B on 54 occasions but has yet to make a first-team match for the club.
Despite him being a promising young goalkeeper, Barcelona are not convinced by Inaki Pena and could sign a new goalkeeper as a backup to Ter Stegen if they decide to sell Neto.
Barcelona have been linked with a move by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. But they are yet to make an official move for him.