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FC Bayern – after a new accident: would Nübel be the right replacement?



Alexander Nuebel, Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer’s mishap on the ski slopes could put Bayern Munich’s management team under pressure to act. According to reports, all conceivable scenes are currently being played out on Säbener Straße – including a return campaign by Alexander Nübel.

The last few weeks have not meant well for Bayern’s number one. First Neuer didn’t look confident when he conceded several goals during the World Cup group phase, then he broke his lower leg on the ski slope between Roßkopf and Spitzingsee – probably while trying to clear his head a little. The failure of the captain and regular keeper could seriously jeopardize the sporting goals of Munich. Therefore, since the incident became known, there has been speculation as to whether Nübel will be brought back to Säbener Straße.

The 26-year-old was loaned out to AS Monaco in the summer of 2021 given his unfavorable reserve role for a young goalkeeper. The ex-Schalke player is also the undisputed number one there. According to adviser Stefan Backs, there has not yet been a request from Bayern to Nübel or his current club. “The question cannot be answered at the moment because I haven’t had any contact with Bayern Munich and Alex hasn’t heard from Munich either,” Backs replied dpa to the question of whether Nübel could return early in the winter.

It would be conceivable that Monaco itself would have to agree to such a return campaign, because the club from the Principality is fighting for a place in the European Cup in Ligue 1 and currently has no suitable replacement. But even if Nübel could come back, the question arises as to whether he really would be the best possible solution for Bayern.

Alexander Nübel holds more than predicted

Nübel has been able to gain a lot of match practice over the past year and a half. In the 53 league games for Monaco, the native of East Westphalia was able to show his best side when it came to preventing goals. This is also confirmed by the figures from

So Nübel has a positive value if we compare the post-shot xG with the real goals conceded. The Post-Shot xG evaluates shots in terms of the probability that a goalkeeper can save a shot attempt. Nübel has had a value of +0.11 per 90 minutes since the start of the 2021/22 season. Overall, he has conceded almost six fewer goals than expected. With numbers like that, the 26-year-old would be among the best in the Bundesliga.

For comparison: Neuer has a value of +0.04 for the same period in the Bundesliga, which is still good. However, Bayern’s current number two Sven Ulreich has recorded -0.10 in nine league games since the summer of 2021. Ulreich’s rate of only 61.3 percent in terms of shots saved is not good either and is well behind Nübel (77.1) as well as other possible candidates for Bayern: Keylor Navas (79.5) and Dominik Livaković (72.1). .

Alexander Nübel: Langholzer instead of game designer

At Schalke, he was able to prove that Nübel is at least a good goal preventer. That’s exactly why he came into the focus of Bayern and other top clubs in Europe. However, there were always concerns about his footballing qualities, which is why the move to the German record champions – quite apart from the problematic squad situation with an established number one – caused surprise.

Bayern often open the game with the involvement of the goalkeeper, who, for example, should create a majority situation against a first pressing line with two or four opponents and thus relieve Dayot Upamecano and Co. However, Nübel is not one who has a precise progressive passing game. He often hastily hits the ball from his own third and thus operates a supposed error avoidance, because the opponents often achieve easy ball gains.

His pass rate of 74.1 percent is well below what the aforementioned Ulreich and Navas have to show for themselves. For long balls, i.e. attempts to play more than 27 meters, Nübel has a success rate of 52.7 percent, while Navas has 68.7 percent, which is roughly the level of Neuer.

FC Bayern – successor to Manuel Neuner: It takes a mix of everything

However, Nübel per se is not an “old-fashioned” goalkeeper who can only parry balls on the line or in the six-yard box. He dares to run out and sometimes, as a modern dust collector, to clarify attacks outside the penalty area. He has averaged 1.19 defensive action outside the box per game since moving to Monaco. Ulreich has a value of 1.56; Neuer is close to 3 per game.

Based on these values ​​alone, it is clear that Bayern should actually put together a goalkeeper from the possible replacement candidates for Neuer. Nübel is probably the one with the best parry qualities and also has the necessary athleticism and bounce strength to scrape balls out of every corner of the goal in a very short time. Navas was able to keep up in this category in his heyday and is also a good footballer who has often been asked to take part in the build-up play at his club stations.

With Livaković, certain question marks remain as to how quickly he can get used to the requirements of the Bayern system. The 27-year-old has spent his career in Zagreb so far and has adapted to the Dinamo game system accordingly. His qualities as a dominator in the six- and sixteen-yard box during the current World Cup have brought him to Bayern’s attention, although a change from Dinamo could certainly be forced with the necessary change.

Should Bayern not do anything on the transfer market, Ulreich would remain as a replacement for Neuer for the second part of the season. The 34-year-old knows the Bayern system and can also do well outside the penalty area, but doubts remain about the consistency when saving shots. Ulreich falls behind here and Nübel has collected arguments for himself in Monaco.