United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Tough break ends keeper’s season

Posted by nickogs20 on March 31, 2009

Manchester United have confirmed that German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler has broken a bone in his arm, an injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of the 2008/09 campaign.

Zieler was injured in a clash with Newcastle striker Xisco just before the half-hour mark in last night’s reserve clash at St. James’ Park. The German youth international came out to punch a cross clear and was caught unintentionally by the Spaniard in his follow-through, leaving the 20 year-old stopper in obvious pain and unable to continue (he was replaced by Conor Devlin).

Scans today have confirmed the severity of the injury and, with little more than six weeks of the reserve season left, likely confirmed the end of Zieler’s campaign – a campaign that has been eventful but perhaps not everything the young German would have hoped. Ron-Robert won the UEFA U19 European Championship with his national side last summer and was looking to push on, but found reserve appearances hard to come by early in the season with Ben Amos to compete with and Sir Alex Ferguson wanting to keep Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak match-fit.

Zieler then went on loan to Northampton Town at the end of November as cover for senior goalkeeper Chris Dunn, initially just for a month. That deal was subsequently extended for another two months, and late February saw Zieler finally handed his chance in the struggling Cobblers’ first eleven. Unfortunately, no sooner had he made his breakthrough (and his first two senior appearances), he was forced to return to United as his loan spell had reached the maximum 93 days allowed for loans outside of a transfer window.

A disappointing end to a frustrating campaign, but one ray of light for Ron-Robert is the fact that the FIFA U20 World Cup is to be held in September and October this year, rather than the usual time of June/July, which would have been extremely difficult – if not impossible – for him to recover and get match fit in time for. Zieler is far from a guaranteed pick for the German side, but the prospect of going to the tournament in the autumn should be ample motivation for the youngster from Cologne as he undergoes rehabilitation for this injury and prepares for next season.

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