Germany boss Joachim Low is “absolutely okay” with the ambitious Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bid to take Manuel Neuer’s No.1 jersey and doesn’t see it as an attack.
Due to Neuer’s long-term foot injury, Ter Stegen was often selected in goal for Germany throughout the first part of last year before Low made the difficult decision to stick with his skipper for the 2018 World Cup.
But the Bayern Munich keeper struggled to help Germany from suffering a group stage exit for the first time since 1938 and fared little better in the international fixtures towards the end of last year.
This has prompted 1990 World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus to publicly urge Low to drop Neuer in favour of giving Ter Stegen a deserved chance.
The 26-year-old has well an truly established himself as the first-choice keeper at Barcelona after fending off competition from Claudio Bravo and is now viewed as one of the best in the business.
And Low admits he welcomes the competition Ter Stegen provides for Neuer after he announced plans to become Germany’s No.1.
“I think it’s absolutely okay what he said,” Low told DAZN.
“It was not an attack towards Manuel Neuer or us coaches. He formulated his ambitions and he is absolutely right to do that because he became a really great goalkeeper in the last two or three years.
“We are happy to have two world-class goalkeepers in Germany. I said last year that Neuer is the No.1, also because he is our captain.
“But this year we have a little restart and Marc will get his chances in the qualification for EURO 2020. The EURO is next summer, we have a little time left until then.”
Ter Stegen has kept eight clean sheets in 21 appearances at international level for Germany ever since making his debut in a friendly against Switzerland in May 2012.
However, the Barcelona star will likely be spending some more time on the Germany bench based on what Low had to say next.
“Of course there will be a fight [for No. 1],” said the boss.
“At the end always the performances count. Manuel made good performances at the World Cup, although he had a long injury before.”