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Yann Sommer at FC Bayern Munich: A month of summer



Only 1.83 meters tall, but equipped with a decent jump: Yann Sommer before his debut for FC Bayern Munich in the second half of the season against RB Leipzig.

Lightning debut, three disappointing draws, three different goalkeeping coaches and the hustle and bustle surrounding Manuel Neuer and Toni Tapalovic: Yann Sommer (34) experienced a turbulent start at Bayern Munich. Now his first big test is coming up.

On Tuesday (9 p.m. in LIVETICKER) the Champions League round of 16 first leg against the star selection of Paris Saint-Germain around Lionel Messi will rise. Reason enough for a brief review of Sommer’s four weeks at Bayern.

FC Bayern: How has the summer been so far?

All the jokes about Sommer’s winter change had not yet been told when Bayern’s newcomer was in the Munich goal for the first time: Just one day after signing his contract, Yann Sommer made his debut at the start of the second half of the season against RB Leipzig. FC Bayern had agreed with Borussia Mönchengladbach at the last moment on a transfer fee of eight million euros plus 1.5 million possible bonuses.

According to Julian Nagelsmann, the adjustment period for such an experienced keeper as the 34-year-old Swiss player is only “15 minutes” and is “definitely not rocket science”. His coach had no qualms and in fact Sommer made a confident impression on his debut: he didn’t have much to do and was powerless to concede a goal to make it 1-1.

Incidentally, such a keeper debut at FC Bayern is not a matter of course: in his first Bundesliga game in 1982, Jean-Marie Pfaff shoved a throw-in from Bremen’s Uwe Reinders into his own goal. In 2011, Manuel Neuer made a blunder against Gladbach, perhaps a little irritated by the angry Koan Neuer campaign.

Sommer’s debut, on the other hand, is an example of his time in goal at FC Bayern: In his five other appearances, the first impressions basically didn’t change. Sommer has not yet shown any extraordinary dream reflexes and has not yet made any nasty mistakes. But what is behind the obvious?

Neuer and Sommer in comparison at FC Bayern 2022/23

Like hardly any other keeper in recent years, Neuer was proactive in his team’s build-up game. Statistically, Sommer has hardly been inferior to him at FC Bayern in this regard. He has marginally fewer ball actions, but a slightly better pass rate than Neuer in his 16 appearances in the first half of the season (due to a shoulder injury, he missed seven competitive games before the World Cup).

What is striking, however, is that Neuer showed significantly more saves than Sommer and also parried more shots in percentage terms. So far, however, Sommer has only been tested extremely sporadically at FC Bayern: In his six games he only got twelve shots on goal – five of them were inside.

category News Summer
competitive matches 16 6
goals conceded 14 5
Goals conceded per game 0.875 0.83
ball actions per game 46.38 45.33
pass rate 86.07 percent 87.23 percent
saves per game 2.69 1:16
Saved shots 75.44 percent 58.33 percent

Summer: Comparison between Gladbach and FC Bayern 2022/23

In the first half of the season, Sommer naturally had a lot more work to do in the Gladbach goal than he does now at Bayern: Back then, he made 4.36 saves per game and saved an average of 77.42 percent of all shots – the best value among regular Bundesliga keepers. Ironically, in the game against FC Bayern (1:1) he even set a Bundesliga record with 19 saves. Since his change, there has been a noticeable decrease in ball actions with a simultaneous improvement in the pass rate.

Like Neuer, Sommer also missed a few games in the first half of the season: almost at the same time as his possible future rival, he had to miss shortly before the World Cup because of a torn ligament in his ankle.

category summer (first half) Summer (second half of the season)
competitive games 11 6
goals conceded 14 5
Goals conceded per game 1.27 0.83
ball actions per game 62.72 45.33
pass rate 79.96 percent 87.23 percent
saves per game 4.36 1:16
Saved shots 77.42 percent 58.33 percent

Yann Sommer at Bayern: What do the others say?

When he made his debut, Sommer was naturally the focus of attention. Nagelsmann saw a “very good and courageous” appearance with “good presence” from his new keeper: “He intercepted three or four crosses and played well with the ball. To be honest, he didn’t have that much to hold on to. It didn’t seem like if he makes the first game for us.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Müller criticized the occasional play error: “Once or twice on the ball you could tell that it was his first game for Bayern. But that’s also legitimate, he’ll grow into this role well.”

After that, Sommer’s sporting achievements were hardly an issue before Nagelsmann drew a first interim conclusion at the press conference before the PSG game. “Very good,” the coach said of his new keeper so far: “He understands the game. You always have the feeling that you can play back passes to him. It’s not like you start shaking when he has the ball at your feet .” In addition, Nagelsmann observed that Sommer had a good charisma: “He is a very smart, clever guy. He has a claim to leadership, which he also fulfills.”

To what extent does the hustle and bustle surrounding Neuer and Tapalovic affect summer?

During his short tenure in Munich, Sommer has already worked with three different goalkeeping coaches. According to Toni Tapalovic, he received him “greatly”. But they had to say goodbye after just one game. Tapalovic is one of Neuer’s best friends, and his dismissal should also be seen as a return carriage for his careless skiing accident.

Tom Starke then stepped in on an interim basis before Michaelrechner took over last week. Nagelsmann knows the 42-year-old from their times together at TSG Hoffenheim. Most recently,rechner also worked as a goalkeeping coach under Stefan Kunz for the Turkish national team.

Just as the fuss about Tapalovic’s dismissal had subsided, Neuer attacked Bayern for this decision in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung and The Athletic sharp. He also spoke briefly about Sommer, calling him a “good guy and good goalkeeper anyway”.

Naturally, Sommer did not comment on the interview. However, Neuer’s outrageous actions may have improved his own prospects for a long-term future in goal at FC Bayern. It is not only open to what extent the long-time regular goalkeeper is recovering from his injury. But also whether the bosses still want to see him in the FC Bayern goal after his tough words.

Sommer is almost three years younger than Neuer and tied until 2025. Just as long as Alexander Nübel, who is currently on loan to AS Monaco.

Yann Sommer at Bayern: And otherwise?

In his first game against Leipzig, Sommer recalled Neuer – but not because of a great save, a risky clarification maneuver or an unauthorized interview. No, he reacted to Marcel Halstenberg’s equalizing goal in the best Neuer manner with an outstretched arm and a questioning look towards the referee.

“I thought 100 percent that it was a foul,” Sommer explained after the game, it was about a scene with Joshua Kimmich. “I was very sure. The referee decided otherwise. I tried to complain.” On the other hand, he accepted the four other goals he conceded without complaining to the referee.