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Risky business – Are Barcelona making the right call by not selling Marc-Andre ter Stegen

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona’s financial constraints have put many of their top players at risk of being sold in the upcoming summer transfer window.

In the Catalans’ pursuit of adhering to La Liga’s strict financial requirements, rumors have swirled about which players might be offloaded this summer.

However, even with all the uncertainty surrounding possible exits, a few players are very unlikely to be discussed in the transfer window because they are seen as essential to Barcelona’s ambitions.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is one of these untouchables, as his importance to the coaching staff keeps him safely off the transfer list.

Ter Stegen is not transferable for Barcelona

Indeed, as per reports Ter Stegen, who recently inked a new long-term contract with Barça, is regarded as a crucial player for the team in the present and near future.

Despite officially being the vice-captain, he has often been entrusted with wearing the captain’s armband, particularly when first-choice captain Sergi Roberto is unavailable.

Having joined Barcelona in 2014, Ter Stegen is also an experienced voice in the locker room and a respected figure among his teammates.

Ter Stegen has been the captain on a number of times this season. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Due to these factors and the club’s inability to set aside funds for a goalkeeper as of now, the 32-year-old’s place in the squad looks to be under no real threat.

Has Ter Stegen warranted his status?

While the club holds him in high regard for his pivotal role between the sticks, it is important to note that he has a few identifiable flaws.

For one, Ter Stegen’s inability to step up on the biggest of stages has seen Barcelona Barcelona struggle in high-stakes matches where his performance is crucial.

Admittedly, the player has come up with excellent displays domestically, and without him, Barcelona would have found it difficult to reign supreme in La Liga last season.

But when the lights shine brightest, Ter Stegen has found it difficult to cope. His weaknesses are especially amplified in the Champions League.

The veteran goalkeeper has often struggled to play out from the back against high-pressing teams in Europe, while his tendency to get beat on the near post has become a repetitive theme.

Additionally, a concerning trend is that opponents seem increasingly confident in taking long-range shots against him, frequently resulting in goals from outside the box.

Vitinha was one of several players to take advantage of this vulnerability during Barcelona’s quarterfinal clash with PSG.

Not to mention the inability to read the game in the box and often diving the wrong way and more often than note, way too early or timidly – case in point, Victor Osimhen’s goal vs Barcelona in the first-leg.

His shortcomings were also visible in La Liga this season, most recently against Valencia as he made a mistake directly leading to a goal.

While the club’s current economic situation makes it understandable to continue with Ter Stegen, deeming the German an indispensable player is far too lenient.

Considering he has interest from Saudi Arabia as well, it is safe to say Barcelona are perhaps putting Ter Stegen on a pedestal without fully addressing his weaknesses.

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