Altay Bayindir played his first game of the 2023/2024 season yesterday to help Turkey achieve an impressive win against Germany in Berlin.
The game was only a friendly but it will be a massive shot of confidence for a Turkish team who were dubbed a “disaster” in Euro 2020 and subsequently failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
Bayindir has not represented Manchester United for a single minute this season but he got his first taste of action in the Olympia Estadion Berlin.
The Turkish keeper had a solid game with a sofascore rating of 6.6. The keeper made two saves inside the box and took one high claim in 90 minutes of action.
The former Fenerbahçe man was beaten in the opening 5 minutes as Germany went 1-0 up. To be fair to Altay, the Turkish defence was cut to ribbons by a precise German move that saw Leroy Sane square for Kai Havertz to finish from close range. There was nothing the Man United keeper could do.
The 25 year old probably rode his luck in the 16th minute when Sane went through on goal and Bayindir came rushing out but got nowhere near the ball. Fortunately for the United man, the German attacker failed to hit the target.
The Turkish team as a whole fought hard and got their noses in front thanks to goals by Ferdi Kadioglu and Kenan Yildiz before the half time whistle.
However, the second half did not start well for Bayindir or Turkey. Germany quickly got back on level terms when Borussia Dortmund attacker, Niclas Füllkrug, beat United’s number two keeper from a shot outside the box. Perhaps the Turkish keeper could have got down quicker at his near post but it would be harsh to lay the blame at his door.
However, the rest of the second half was a positive one for Bayindir and his side. The Turks scored again from the penalty spot to make it 3-2 on the night. the United man also bravely collected a high cross from Havertz, colliding with his own defender in the process. Thankfully, there was no injury. United fans’ hearts would have been racing, especially considering Andre Onana limped off for Cameroon on Friday night.
However, the former Fenerbahçe keeper’s most crucial involvement of the night arrived in the 73rd minute. German striker, Julian Brandt, broke through and went one-on-one with the Turk. Bayindir stood strong and repelled the attack to maintain his nation’s narrow advantage.
This should probably come as no surprise as The Peoples Person revealed that the Turkish keeper is considered a “world-class” shotstopper by many in his home country. However, what would be most pleasing to United and Erik ten Hag is the passing performance of the keeper.
The Turk played 34 passes, completing 28. Bayindir was also regularly seen outside his box and spraying the ball about with confidence. One such occasion came in the first half when a beautiful long ball was sprayed almost inch-perfectly into his teammate’s path, but the ball was cleared by the panicked German defence.
Bayindir has been criticised for his ball playing skills whilst playing for the Turkish giants, so a performance like this will be music to Ten Hag’s ears as he tries to mould the player into an Onana-style sweeper keeper.
All in all, it was a successful night’s work for his side who will be full of confidence for the upcoming Euros in the summer. Bayindir will also be hopeful that his performance caught the eye of his club manager, so he can finally play his first minutes for his new club, and give his fellow new signing, Andre Onana, some genuine competition.