Thorben Hoffmann: Sunderland’s New Star and Future Germany Number One

Thorben Hoffmann

Sunderland have had their fair share of excellent goalkeepers down the years. Jim Montgomery of 1973 FA Cup final fame and record appearance maker, Jordan Pickford, the current England number one, Scotland international Craig Gordon and many more.

However, in recent years and beyond, Black Cats fans have witnessed some goalkeeping performances that they would rather forget. In new signing Thorben Hoffmann, Sunderland appear to have got it right in that department with his performances so far suggesting that he could be a future star for both club and country. 

Thorben Hoffman: Sunderland’s Number One and Future German Star

Performances Showing Why he is Highly Rated

Following a nervous first game against Accrington Stanley, a game which came just days after signing, Hoffmann has grown in confidence and displayed the goalkeeping attributes that have made him so highly rated.

It is a credit to Sunderland’s staff that they got this deal done. Not since Thomas Sorenson in the 1990s has a young goalkeeper joined Sunderland and impressed as much as Hoffmann has. 

A string of acrobatic saves, calmness and impressive distribution has shown why Lee Johnson waited to get his man.

The transfer deadline day signing has been a key player in how Johnson wants to play the game. Players who are comfortable on the ball no matter what their position and can play a controlled but quick passing game to get the opposition on the back foot. 

A goalkeeper who can spot a pass quickly to set up an attack soon after making a save or collecting a cross or back pass has been key. At 6ft 4in Hoffmann is an opposing keeper who will not give opposition strikers an easy game. 

In the short time he has been on Wearside, it is clear that he has spent time working at one of the world’s biggest clubs in Bayern Munich. Despite the deal to bring Hoffmann to the Stadium of Light being an initial one-year loan, the Black Cats have the option to make to move a permanent one. At this stage, it is difficult to see why Sunderland would not want to keep the impressive German longer than one year.

Thorben Hoffmann Explains Why he Joined Sunderland

In a recent interview with German publication Kicker, Hoffmann described his feelings on a possible move to Sunderland, the day he eventually signed and also the day of his first game for the club.

He said: “Hope and new opportunities alternate with broken deals. But one thing is becoming more and more concrete. On the island. In Sunderland. At the traditional club AFC. I’m really up for that. 

“Five times English champion, average attendance of 33,000, great ambitions to march through from the third division to the Premier League. And: A rivalry with Newcastle, which turns the pairing against FCB in 1860 into a petting zoo.”

On his debut, he added: “First against second. The whole stadium is singing and shaking. I’m in the starting line-up and it’s only now that I understand why this is real football, every cliché is true.

“This isn’t the Netflix series “Sunderland till I Die”, but that’s exactly why it was shot. This is beer, not bubbly, this is English football and not the Champions League, there are so many and so real emotions, and right now I know: I did it right, I want to be right here and now, in this team, this stadium, with and for these people.”

Thorben Hoffmann Can Follow Manuel Neuer and Become Number One For The German National Team

Should Hoffmann continue to develop he has a chance to emulate his colleague at Bayern Munich, the current Germany number one Manuel Neuer. Although several years behind the German great, Hoffmann and Neuer have similar traits and took a similar route to first-team football. Both came through the ranks and their respective first clubs to make their first-team debuts at the age of 22 following several years honing their skills in the ‘B team’. 

Since joining Bayern 10 years ago, Neuer has become one of their greatest ever players. Hoffmann has trained alongside Neuer for several seasons and will have benefited from the experience. The 22-year-old is still only at the beginning of his journey; however, there is no reason to believe that he could not only become a great at Sunderland as they strive for a return to the Premier League but also a star for the German national team. 

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