If your first reaction was “who?”, don’t worry. This is definitely the least important signing this summer. It’s probably not even right to call this a signing, Riedmüller already spent the last 3 years in at Säbener Straße and now signed a pro contract. Why does the first team need 4 keepers? Basically, there are two reasons. More after the jump.
First things first: Maximilian Riedmüller is a 23-year-old German goalkeeper and, since joining the club in 2008, played 33 matches for Bayern II, 19 of them last season what technically makes them the first-choice keeper of the second team (and that most likely won’t change this year).
But why did he sign a pro contract? About five years ago it was decided that every Bundesliga club needs to have at least 12 Germans signed. Let’s have a look at Bayern:
- Jörg Butt
- Manuel Neuer
- Rouven Sattelmaier
- Philipp Lahm
- Holger Badstuber
- Diego Contento
- Toni Kroos
- Bastian Schweinsteiger
- Thomas Müller
- Mario Gomez
- Nils Petersen
Exactly. There’s one missing. Since the Boateng deal is uncertain, they wanted to play it safe in this regard. But does it make sense to sign another keeper for this? Wouldn’t it be smarter to sign one of Jüllich, Köz or Vrzogic and have another full-back backup available? That’s why I think there is another reason.
Jörg Butt will retire in 2012, thus Bayern needs a new backup for Manuel Neuer. While it’s always a possibility that a better known, more experienced player will be signed for that job, it’s just as likely that it’s gonna one of Sattelmaier/Riedmüller. Practice, Regionalliga matches – this might be the most important year in the career of the two. Convince Heynckes and Nerlinger and you might end up replacing an injured Manuel Neuer in an important Bundesliga or Champions League match. Just ask Stefan Wessels, Michael Rensing and Thomas Kraft who all went from being FCB reserve players to first-choice keepers of Bundesliga clubs.
So the signing certainly is a way to avoid trouble by not having enough Germans signed (which would be a joke anyway when you consider that 7 of them are German internationals and FCB regulars) but it’s also a message for both Riedmüller and Sattelmaier that it’s now or never if they want to make it, that this is not the year to relax and enjoy that you can have lunch with Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben. Can one of them shine? We most likely won’t find out until next year but Jupp Heynckes, Hermann Gerland and Andries Jonker will take notice of everything.