Just 24 hours after arriving from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Yann Sommer was standing between the posts for Bayern Munich in the first Bundesliga fixture of 2023, yet despite the short period of acclimatisation, the Swiss custodian did not disappoint.
The 34-year-old could not be faulted in Bayern’s 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig on Friday night, justifying the record champions’ choice of him to cover for the injured Manuel Neuer for the rest of the season.
“He was very good,” said head coach Julian Nagelsmann. “He didn’t really have many saves to make – I think there was just one, which was pretty central – but he was very calm and very present and when he was put under pressure, he showed a high degree of calmness, caught a few crosses and corners.”
Watch: Sommer - "it's been a wild few weeks"
But it was his overall presence and involvement in Bayern’s build-up game which encouraged Nagelsmann, who only had about 15 minutes of a brief meeting in the club’s hotel prior to the match to explain his philosophy to the new recruit.
“I tried to explain to him what we expect from him in our quite narrow, compact version of playing out from the back,” Nagelsmann said. “I got the impression that he understands and knows what we are seeking from him.”
Watch: Leipzig 1-1 Bayern - 60-second highlights
Despite appearing to have got the message, the experienced custodian urged caution, admitting it will take a while for a new style of play to be fully understood, though he was nonetheless satisfied with his first outing in a Bayern shirt.
“I was really excited,” Sommer told DAZN. “It was so much fun. Of course it’s a new team for me, and I’m a new goalkeeper for the team and the understanding’s not perfect yet.
“When you’ve got the ball, you don’t really know where the players will run – I’ve been used to playing in a different team for eight and a half years – but the important thing is we work on it in training, so that the players know how I play and what my style of play is, and that I know how they run and what their positions are.”
First, however, Sommer is looking forward to letting the events of the past 48 hours sink in fully, before it will be back to work on the training ground, getting to know his new teammates and tactics.
"It's been a wild few weeks, but I'm happy," he told bundesliga.com. "It's a new big challenge for me in my career and I'm looking forward for the next games with this team. Now I have some days to get to know the team better in the next days because I [only] had two days in Munich, so yeah - I'm happy."
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