Ramaj’s jump into the ice-cold water

Signing Diant Ramaj as the new Frankfurt number 2 was a sporting gamble last summer – for both sides. The first rehearsal is on Sunday in Augsburg.

Will replace Kevin Trapp for the first time: Diant Ramaj.

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If it is true that there is no substitute for regular match practice when it comes to the optimal development of young footballers, then things are not looking good for Diant Ramaj. The now 20-year-old was part of the second division squad of 1. FC Heidenheim in 2018/19, but the goalkeeper has not played a single competitive game in the adult division to date. In general: Ramaj’s last league game dates from March 8, 2020 in a 2-1 draw with the Heidenheim offspring against Freiburg in the U-19 Bundesliga South/Southwest. This was followed by the Corona break and a meniscus tear, which put the keeper out of action until early summer 2021. There are only three more games with the German U-20 national team in the period mentioned. The change from Heidenheim to Eintracht in the summer of 2021 should therefore come as a surprise.

The leap of faith is huge

First, from the player’s perspective. Finally, it was clear: Ramaj would normally not be able to collect any playing time behind the untouchable Kevin Trapp, and the Frankfurters also canceled their second team years ago. But the motivation of those responsible for Eintracht was also remarkable: to make such an inexperienced young man number 2 – and to give up the tried and tested Frederik Rönnow – speaks for a huge leap of faith. The conditions are clear to him, Ramaj himself emphasized at the start, “but the quality of training is very high, so I can develop very well”. Of course, some people were wrong with such forecasts, see the example of Alex Nübel at FC Bayern. Meanwhile, goalkeeping coach Jan Zimmermann expressed the confidence of those responsible for the club: “In Diant we were able to win a young German national player with a lot of potential. We are sure that he can take the next steps with us.”

In addition to talent, strong nerves are required on Sunday

On Sunday in Augsburg it will be time in the second half of the second game: Since Trapp is out due to a corona infection, Ramaj has the first opportunity to confirm his own forecasts and those of his superiors – and to teach all skeptics better. With all the talent that the 1.89-meter man with his talent for football certainly has, his professional premiere means jumping into ice-cold water. In addition to other sporting qualities, strong nerves will be in demand. Because regardless of how long Trapp ultimately has to pause: at least for the first relevant impression at the professional level, there is no second chance for Ramaj either.

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