A German international goalkeeper has told Manchester United that he would like to move to the club, should David de Gea, as expected, finally leave to join Real Madrid this summer.
No sorry United fans, it’s not Manuel Neuer, instead it is Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. The 27-year-old spent five years of his youth career at the Manchester club but would he a worthy candidate to replace De Gea?
Zieler has been linked with a switch to Liverpool and Manchester City in the past and the goalkeeper has told Goal he would be open to a return.
He said: “At the beginning I was blown away, it was really fascinating [to be part of the United squad under Sir Alex]. Suddenly there were world famous stars walking past me. So the first weeks were spectacular. But of course you get used to those things.
“Then it is just normal every-day life and you just don’t think about what these players have won and achieved. The time at United helped me a lot in my development, personally and as a football player. Today I can say for sure: I would always decide to go there again.
“Nothing has been decided yet [on his future]. There are several offers. I will listen to all of them and then decide. It’s a very important decision in my career. So I think to decide too early would be fatal. I am not in a hurry at all. It’s no secret that Germany, England, Italy and Spain are the four biggest leagues.
Would Zieler come close to performing as well as De Gea has at Old Trafford? With 6 caps for Germany, behind the incredible Neuer, Zieler has some international pedigree. His team finished bottom of the Bundesliga this season conceding 62 goals in just 34 games. It is fair to say that those amount of goals conceded are not purely his fault, but United may be looking to a higher calibre of keeper should they have to replace De Gea this month.
The stats though, look good for Zieler. This season he has made 2.25 saves before conceding a goal, only slightly worse than De Gea (2.45). His distribution accuracy of 70% is better than De Gea’s (62%). The German has also made more catches (4.55 per 90 minutes) than De Gea (2.58) – highlighting the fact that he has to do a lot more than the Manchester United keeper in a normal game.