Barcelona announced Monday that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is set to undergo a procedure which will see him miss the team’s final game of the season and this summer’s European Championship with Germany.
The Catalan giants confirmed the news in a statement on the club’s official website.
“The first team player Marc ter Stegen will undergo a therapeutic procedure on the patellar tendon in his right knee on Thursday 20 May in Malmö by Dr Håkan Alfredson and under the supervision of the club’s medical services.”
Ter Stegen also offered some more insight in a post on Instagram. The Germany international also spoke about his disappointment after Sunday’s loss to Celta Vigo ended Barcelona’s hopes of winning La Liga.
“I’m disappointed about yesterday’s defeat and that now we can no longer win La Liga. After a complicated start to the season, we showed good character going 19 matches unbeaten – but we weren’t able to keep this form,” he wrote. “I have decided together with the medical team of the club that I will do a complementary intervention on my knee. I’m sad that I will miss the EURO 2020 this summer with Germany. For the first time in many years I will be a fan at home supporting my country, I hope we win it! After the summer break, when we are back on the pitch I hope to be able to play with fans once again, I miss it! Thank you for your support throughout a difficult season and stay healthy!”
Ter Stegen’s absence means that back-up Neto is likely to start in Barcelona’s final game of the season at Eibar on Saturday. Barcelona B youngsters Inaki Pena and Arnau Tenas are also available and could make the squad.
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Ter Stegen Under Scrutiny
The Barcelona goalkeeper missed the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery but has been a regular since making his return to action in November 2020. However, his form has been questioned by supporters in recent games.
Barcelona writer Kevin Williams feels Ter Stegen needs serious competition for his place at the Camp Nou.
Ter Stegen’s physical issues may go some way to explaining the German not being at his best recently, and Barca will hope he can return fully fit and in top form for the new season.
The goalkeeper is not the only player who will miss Barca’s final game. Clement Lenglet is suspended after being sent off against Celta, while Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, and Philippe Coutinho are all injured.
Pena Stakes a Claim With Penalty Heroics
Barcelona B goalkeeper Pena staked a claim for a more prominent role with an impressive performance on Saturday. The stopper saved four penalties in a shootout against UCAM Murcia in the promotion playoffs.
However, Pena couldn’t do quite enough to secure his team a place in the finals with Barcelona B eventually going down 5-4 on penalties after an epic shootout. The goalkeeper did come in for plenty of praise from fans for his performance.
Meanwhile, Ter Stegen’s current back-up Neto is a player who could be sold in the summer to help Barca’s financial problems. Coach Ronald Koeman confirmed the Brazilian asked to leave in January but saw his transfer request turned down.
Barcelona look unlikely to stand in his way this summer which could mean promotion for Pena. The youngster looks ready to make the step up and Barca would also not have to splash out on a replacement for Neto if Pena becomes a part of the first-team set-up on a permanent basis.