Norwich City have completed the signing of Schalke 04 goalkeeper, Ralf Fahrmann on a season-long loan, the club have announced.
Fahrmann has a big reputation in Germany and has almost 200 Bundesliga appearances to his name. He has played with Schalke in the Champions League and in 2017/18 he kept the most clean sheets in the German top flight.
He’s 30 years old and 6’5” tall with, as I say, a decent looking record clutched in his gloved hand, so what’s he doing here and why isn’t he playing for Schalke?
Having proven himself to be one of the Bundesliga’s most reliable goalkeepers over a number of years, last season, due to some niggling injuries and a loss of form, Ralf lost his place in the Schalke side to Alexander Nubel in the second half of the season.
Nubel is Germany’s U21 goalkeeper and follows in the footsteps of Fahrmann and Manuel Neuer before him as Schalke’s number one.
Schalke are now coached by former Huddersfield boss, David Wagner and it seems as though Nubel is going to be the new Head Coach’ number one.
The speculation in the media is that City are paying a €3m loan fee to Schalke as well as covering all of Fahrmann’s wages for the season, so it’s fair to say that he is a big investment for the club.
Is he going to play ahead of Tim Krul?
That’s the three million euro question. He is certainly going to be giving Tim some stiff competition for the keeper’s jersey and he has presumably not moved to England for the year on just a whim. After all, he could warm the bench at Schalke if he wanted to.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the battle to be Norwich City’s number one pans out for both men, that’s for sure, but you can’t feel sorry for Tim Krul. This signing reminds us that there is no room for sentimentality in professional sport and that it is all about winning.
John Ruddy won the Championship as Wolves’ number one a couple of years ago and was then promptly replaced by Portuguese international, Rui Patricio who was superb last season.
Krul will know that he has a fight on his hands but competition is healthy and brings the best out in players and if Fahrmann does end up warming the Norwich bench then it’ll be because Tim has stepped up even further than he did last season.