German goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck joined Olympique Lyonnais in September 2020 as cover for Anthony Lopes, on a four year contract for an initial fee of €250,000 from Hamburg. He takes over the reserve goalkeeper role from Anthony Racioppi, who left Lyon to join Dijon the same week.
Pollersbeck took his place on the Lyon bench for the first time in the 1-1 draw away at Lorient on the 29th of September and will hope to get first team opportunities in the Coupe de France later this season. Otherwise, he’ll be very much a reserve unless Lopes gets injured, suspended or suffers a loss of form.
He’s no stranger to the role of reserve, having been demoted to third choice ‘keeper at Hamburg for much of last season. He suffered an ankle ligament injury during winter training, but did recover in time to regain his place in the starting XI for the final six games when German football resumed after the Covid-19 suspension.
However, he was unable to help Hamburg to promotion, and his final appearance for the club was an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat to Sandhausen as they missed out on the play-offs on the last day of the season.
Most of his first team experience to date is in the 2. Bundesliga. He was most recently first choice for Hamburg in the 2018-19 season during their first failed promotion campaign. His only taste of top-flight action came in the second half of the previous season when he featured regularly as HSV slumped to their first ever relegation.
Prior to that, Pollersbeck had also been first choice at Kaiserslautern for a season in the 2. Bundesliga in 2016-17, following a couple of year’s in the club’s reserve team. It was his form during that final season at Kaiserslautern that prompted Hamburg to pay €3.5 million for him in summer 2017.
Pollersbeck was born in Bavaria and began his career with local club Wacker Burghausen before joining Kaiserslautern shortly before his nineteenth birthday. He has represented Germany at youth level and won the European Under-21 Championships in Poland with them in 2017, when he was also named in the team of the tournament.
He kept a clean sheet in the final of that tournament, a 1-0 win against Spain, and saved Nathan Redmond’s penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against England to seal Germany’s spot in the final. Since then his career hasn’t quite lived up to its early promise but, at 26, there’s plenty of time left for him to re-establish himself as a number one should he get the opportunity.