'Best goalkeeper in the world' - Sunderland's new signing reveals how Bayern Munich and Germany legend inspired him
Thorben Hoffmann says Sunderland's plan to develop him as a player was key in convincing him to make the switch from Bayern Munich.
The 22-year-old signed a season-long loan deal on deadline day, with the Black Cats holding an option to make that deal permanent next summer.
Hoffmann says he was drawn to the club by the size of the support, and also identified the long-term vision shown by head of recruitment Stuart Harvey as key to the switch.
Hoffmann is expected to immediately challenge for a first-team place, and his experience in the Bayern Munich II side means he has played a lot of senior football in the German lower leagues.
"I want to develop as a player and Sunderland gave the best option to do that," he told safc.com.
"I really like the club, I watched the Netflix series and I was really hyped about the club, to play in front of 30,000 people every home game is something very special.
"I'm really happy to be here.
"We had really good chats with the head of recruitment and all the guys around the club, and he showed me a plan that was really good for me.
"I'm really looking forward to hopefully taking that out onto the pitch."
Hofffmann has spent five years learning from Manuel Neuer in Munich, and says working with a genuine great of the game has given him a lot of skills to take into his own game.
"He is the best goalkeeper in the world I would say," Hoffmann said.
"But not just a great goalkeeper, a great guy and I learned so much from him personally.
"As a goalkeeper, he's so quick on his feet and sees the whole game, which is something really special.
"I'm really happy to have been able to learn from him for five years and hopefully I can take some of that and those skills into my own game.
"But I want to be my own player, as well."
Head Coach Lee Johnson said on deadline day that Hoffmann would bring 'elite' qualities in playing out from the back, while also praising his agility and shot-stopping potential.