Ever since Victor Valdes, Barça have been known to use modern goalkeepers who are brave with the ball at their feet. It's a quality that the man from L’Hospitalet has always put into practice. A lot of attacks began with him, always looking at options to score and seeing who was in the best position. Perhaps because of that many fans, including myself, consider Valdes to be the best goalkeeper in FC Barcelona's history. However, I've got a lot of faith in Marc-Andre ter Stegen. I believe that, during these years at Barça, he's improved massively as a keeper and is now one of the best in the world. He's only 28 which makes me think there's still room for further improvement and he could eventually become the best.
For that reason, in my opinion, his renewal should be one of Barça's priorities this summer. His role is key in the present and future of this club. On a sporting level we've seen his incredible displays on the pitch, including that wonderful double-save to deny Lewandowski away at Bayern. To score past ter Stegen you need to place your shot perfectly. We're talking about an extremely solid goalkeeper and that's something which makes it uncomfortable for the opposition's forwards. His qualities are extensive: he closes the angles down quickly in one-on-ones, makes himself big and isn't one of those goalkeepers who guesses what the forward will do. Instead he stands strong, covering as much of the goal as possible and is very agile.
And that doesn't even go into the fact he's capable of assuming the responsibility when the team needs his help. He always wants the ball and is another outfield player when the team has possession. He's also comfortable with facing the cameras after a bad performance and, in a measured and respectful way, point out the errors of the team. He's a very hard worker. I can attest to that because we completed a preseason together, just before I joined Stoke. I remember not long after signing he was already trying to speak in Spanish and took an interest in Catalan.
For all of those reasons, I don't believe the club can allow a player like him to leave. There's no risk when it comes to ter Stegen but, without him, everything becomes less clear. This is why the idea of not handing him a new contract can't be considered. Furthermore, I believe he's proven himself to rightly be amongst the best-paid members of the squad for years to come. And in doing so, it would remove a great uncertainty as we enter the transfer window.