Borussia Monchengladbach are experiencing one of the best seasons in their history and a great deal of their success is down to their 19-year-old goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Germany has a history of producing some of the world’s best goalkeepers including Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann and ter Stegen is just another one to add to the list.
Monchengladbach’s defence have been most impressive this season and have conceded the least goals in the Bundesliga. They’ve only conceded twelve times whilst leaders Dortmund and second-place Bayern Munich have both let in two more. It is further proven that the defence and the goalkeeper have been vital to their fortunes this season when statistics show that Monchengladbach have scored a considerable amount less than the teams around them and their success is therefore down to the backline.
ter Stegen joined the club at the tender age of four and has since been making his way through the ranks. He has become a regular now at the German side and at only 19-years-old it is a remarkable achievement.
Traditionally, goalkeepers seem to be one of the oldest players in a team and the most experienced, but ter Stegen is making a case for giving young goalkeepers a chance and so far he is taking his chance superbly.
In 2009, ter Stegen was chosen as one of the best two goalkeepers in the European Under 17 Championships, of which his nation won the title. He has played through every rank of Germany’s international youth system and currently plays for the under 21 side, but a call-up to earn his first full senior international cap could be on the horizon.
Borussia Monchengladbach fought against relegation for much of last season and ter Stegen was given his debut towards the end of the campaign. He played his first match for the first team against Cologne in April 2011 and has been the number one ever since. Even at that late stage in the season, ter Stegen became one of the stars of the campaign, conceding only four goals in eight matches – a brilliant record for a team that were almost relegated to the second tier.
ter Stegen produces some breathtaking reflexes at times and standing at 6ft 2, he has excellent aerial credentials.
His only weakness is his lack of experience which could work against him if he was to be called up to the senior international side. Another main strength is his vocal ability but there is a fear he could quiet down playing with a higher calibre and more respected players in the Germany set-up.
He is under contract at the Champions League hopefuls until the end of the 2014/2015 season and despite his incredible potential, there are no signs of any European club coming in for the goalkeeper. This doesn’t matter to the 19-year-old though who is living the dream playing at the top for the club he has grown up with and that he loves.