Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is now matching Manuel Neuer stride for stride in the race for Germany’s number one jersey, according to legend Franz Beckenbauer.
The Barcelona goalkeeper has played every minute of the La Liga champions’ top-flight campaign, keeping 11 clean sheets in the process to help the club pull 10 points clear at the top.
Neuer has displayed similar levels of consistency, missing just two of Bayern Munich’s 26 Bundesliga games, but his displays haven’t hit the levels he has shown in past years.
That was evident as the 32-year-old committed a howler to allow Sadio Mane to open the scoring in Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 second leg success at the Allianz Arena.
Germany manager Joachim Low has hinted that he will keep faith with Neuer – who started the 1-1 friendly draw with Serbia – when Germany face the Netherlands in their Euro 2020 qualifying opener on Sunday.
But Beckenbauer, who won over a century of caps for his country and claimed the World Cup as both a player and manager, does not expect Ter Stegen to give up in pursuit of replacing Neuer.
“Ter Stegen has caught up a lot, but he has benefited from the injury of Manuel Neuer,” he told Sky Sport Germany .
“Manuel Neuer will pull together and continue to be the number one. I trust him. But Ter Stegen will not let up.”
While Neuer was able to retain his place in the squad for the latest bout of international fixtures, fellow old-stagers Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Mulller have seen their international careers ended by Low.
The coach will not consider the trio for selection in the future, a move which comes after Germany endured a woeful World Cup and dropped out of the top tier of the Nations League.
They join Mesut Ozil on the sidelines, after the Arsenal playmaker retired from Germany duty citing his treatment by the DFB .
But despite Low’s bold statement, 73-year-old Beckenbauer expects the trio to be reinstated sooner rather than later.
“I understand that this is a temporary non-selection and you look at how the boys are developing and that they can be brought back if needed,” he added.