Florian Kastenmeier has shown himself to be a more-than-able deputy to Fortuna Düsseldorf No.1 Zack Steffen in 2020 - as well as being a Bundesliga Fantasy Manager steal. bundesliga.com profiles the up-and-coming goalkeeper...
Club: Fortuna Düsseldorf
Country: Germany (U18s, one cap)
Kastenmeier came through at hometown club Regensburg, before spending four years in the youth ranks of nearby Augsburg, culminating in a run of 22 appearances in Germany's fourth tier in 2016/17 and a summer transfer to the VfB Stuttgart reserves. The one-time Germany U18 international turned out 57 times across two seasons with Die Schwaben's second-string ensemble, keeping 14 clean sheets.
Kastenmeier crossed the north-south divide to join Düsseldorf ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, making his first-team debut in the DFB Cup second-round win over Erzgebirge Aue. With Manchester City loanee Steffen on the sidelines, a Bundesliga bow followed in the new year and, while he has only recorded one shut-out, the 22-year-old is making 3.75 saves per game. Only three other Bundesliga goalkeepers boast a higher average.
Watch: Florian Kastenmeier - "I'm doing a good job in place of Zack Steffen"
Standing at 6'3", Kastenmeier has a head for heights - and has a maiden career assist to show for it. With Fortuna trailing 1-0 in their DFB Cup quarter-final tie against Saarbrücken in March 2020, the Fortuna stopper made his way forward for an injury-time corner. He duly won his header to set up Mathias Jorgensen's equalising goal and saved his first senior career penalty in the ensuing, albeit unsuccessful, shoot-out.
Plays a bit like: Thibaut Courtois
Kastenmeier doesn't quite have Courtois's stature - the Real Madrid and Belgium No.1 is pushing 6'6" - but he's not that far off in terms of wing span, which explains why the Fortuna prospect is such a commanding presence in the penalty box and accomplished shot-stopper. He also has laser-guided distribution in his locker.
Did you know?
Kastenmeier will set you back a mere 1M on the Bundesliga's Official Fantasy Manager game. Despite conceding 14 goals in his first eight Bundesliga appearances, Steffen's understudy has picked up 37 points at an average of 4.8 per game. In terms of value of money, only Robin Zentner (Mainz, 1.2M, 114 points), Mark Flekken (Freiburg, 1.2M, 79pts), Parvao Pervan (Wolfsburg, 1M, 58pts) and Markus Schubert (Schalke, 1M, 44pts) rank higher. The 5.6M Steffen is 11th on the list, with 92 points to show for his first 17 top-flight outings (5.4 per game).
What they're saying
"Flo is improving all the time. He's so important for us because he's a very good footballer and is very positive." - Fortuna coach Uwe Rosler
"Florian has bided his time. He's a good shot-stopper, and has excellent distribution." - Fortuna sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel
Keep an eye on...
The immediate outlook may look a touch bleak for relegation-threatened Fortuna, but the long-term future is bright. Kelvin Ofori, 18, made his Bundesliga debut in the Matchday 25 draw with Mainz, having scored twice in three games for the reserves, while fellow Ghanaian attacker Bernard Tekpetey, 22, already has ample experience of Germany's second tier after tallying 11 goals and seven assists in Paderborn's 2018/19 promotion-winning campaign.
Aymen Barkok - Germany-born but of Moroccan descent - has been compared to legendary playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha, and has over 40 Bundesliga appearances under his belt at 21. Eighteen months after joining the club form Aalen, meanwhile, Johannes Bühler is reportedly on the fringes of getting his break with the senior side. The 22-year-old, who can play in central midfield, on the wing and at right-back, has been a virtual ever-present for the reserves in 2019/20.