Minggu, 22 Agustus 2010

Looking for a Goalie? Come to Germany

The transfer period is still open until August 31. And are you as a club still looking to sign a quality goalkeeper? Then look no further then Germany as numerous quality goalkeepers are still without a contract. And after not finding a club in Germany, they are now open to offers from abroad.

Germany have a tradition in producing quality goalkeepers since the days of Sepp Meier, Tony Schumacher and Bodo Ilgner, and the list goes on to the now retired Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann to the current generation of Manuel Neuer and Rene Adler plus even younger ones like Tobias Sippel.

All 18 Bundesliga clubs have sealed their number one goalkeeper slots, some even have adequate quality sitting on the bench; but there are quality keepers like Timo Hildebrand, Michael Rensing, Stefan Wessels or Markus Proell, who are still looking for a club and even in the 2.Bundesliga there is no space for them.

The biggest name without a contract is former German national goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. The 31 year old last played for 1899 Hoffenheim, but the club from the southwest did not renew his contract and brought in Tom Starke from Duisburg. Since then Hildebrand has been on the lookout for a contract within Germany, now also from abroad. Hildebrand had come through the system at VfB Stuttgart and had signed for FC Valencia in 2007, a big mistake as from thereon his career dipped. He returned 18 months later back to Germany to sign for Hoffenheim, but now another 18 months later he is without a contract. Currently he is keeping himself fit at fourth division Stuttgarter Kickers and hopes to sign a contract somewhere in the coming weeks. He has been linked with Celtic Glasgow, Fulham and Wigan Athletic; but so far nothing has come through. Hildebrand also has hopes he could return to VfB Stuttgart as the club go into the season without the retired Lehmann and young Jens Ulreich as the number one, which isn't to the liking of coach Christian Gross.

Another big casualty has been Michael Rensing. Two years ago the now 26 year old was the heir of legendary Oliver Kahn at Bayern Munich, but the young keeper could never get out of the shadows of his former team mate, too many blunders and a turbulent season with Juergen Klinsmann in-charge. Bayern had brought in Hans-Joerg Butt as back-up who suddenly became the clubs number one and this summer even went on to be part of the German national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For Rensing it was the end of the road at Bayern and the keeper now is looking at options, but until now those options aren't there in Germany. Now Rensing is also being linked with a move to the Premier League. The latest rumour links him with West Ham United as understudy of England's Robert Green. That would surely make interesting competition.

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