Marc-Andre ter Stegen joined Barcelona in 2014 after four successful years with his boyhood club Borussia Monchengladbach.
Regarded as one of the greatest goalkeeping talents across the continent, the 23-year-old German international is at the delicate moment in his career and next couple of months could very well define his entire career.
Ter Stegen was signed for a fee of £9.7 million on a five-year contract with the buy-out clause in excess of £63.6 million as the talented goalkeeper was designated first-team member and an acquisition for the future, following the departures of Victor Valdes and Jose Manuel Pinto.
The 23-year-old German ultimately became victim of bad timing and poor luck as an injury prior to his first game for Barcelona seems to have made all the difference in the word for Ter Stegen.
Namely, Luis Enrique was forced to make Claudio Bravo the starting league goalkeeper, with Ter Stegen the first choice for Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League.
Despite the fact he didn’t play a single La Liga game during his maiden season at Camp Nou, Marc-Andre ter Stegen won the treble, thus marking the beginning of his life at Barcelona with a huge success. Young German is on course for another trophy-laden season as his club are the firm favourites at 13/8 to retain the Champions League title this year.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out between Ter Stegen and Barcelona as young goalkeeper failed to impose himself and move up the pecking order. Bravo remained the first choice in the ongoing season as well and the 23-year-old German international was left disillusioned with his life at the Catalan club.
Enrique once again favoured Claudio Bravo, the highly successful Chile international who had arrived at the club off the back of a World Cup run into the quarter-finals and was a veteran in Spain’s domestic competitions. Claudio Bravo has racked up 27 starts in La Liga, while the German goalkeeper played eight matches in the Champions Leagu, six in the Copa del Rey and only four in the Primera Division.
Having failed to establish himself as the club’s number one Ter Stegen was also heavily criticised for his performances this term.
Barcelona shot stopper conceded a 50-yard goal from Mikel San Jose in Barca’s Supercopa defeat to Athletic Bilbao, while he was similarly beaten by Alessandro Florenzi, whose effort from the touchline surprised Barcelona keeper during Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League visit to Rome.
Ter Stegen’s positioning was put in questions both times as he was lobbed from long range.
With his ability under scrutiny, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has started to consider his future at Barcelona, admitting leaving the club would be a possibility if nothing changes until the end of the season.
Having in mind that Ter Stegen is going through a delicate period in his career, leaving Barcelona would likely be the best option for the talented keeper who has had limited chances to prove his worth this season.
And as Ter Stegen has represented Germany at several youth levels and even made four senior appearances since his debut in 2012, the young gem will be hoping for a move that would allow him to come closer to competing with the untouchable Manuel Neur for the place on Germany goal.
Ter Stegen would not lack options should he decides to leave Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Liverpool are believed to have already made an approach to sign Barcelona goalkeeper with a £19 million bid according to Don Balon.
Current Liverpool No 1 Simon Mignolet has signed a new long-term deal with the Reds, but his performances have often been questioned this season and Jurgen Klopp is believed to be looking into the possibility of bringing in the former Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper in the summer.
Additionally, the German international is thought to be on incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s wish list as the Spanish manager will be eager to replace Willie Caballero and put additional pressure on Joe Hart.
What is more, Manchester United are looking at the 23-year-old in case David de Gea leaves Old Trafford at the end of the season.
With plenty of options to choose from, Marc-Andre ter Stegen could become a hot property towards the end of the season.
Should he leave Barcelona for new pastures green in order to get his career back on the right track?