Stefan Ortega has been the lifeblood for Arminia Bielefeld since his move from 1860 Munich in 2017. But with Bielefeld’s relegation, he's suddenly available on a free after yet another impressive campaign.
Bielefeld’s challenging season doesn’t do Stefan Ortega justice as he single-handedly kept the club alive in countless contests. It was an emotional goodbye as Ortega has been Bielefeld's glue through these last few rollercoaster campaigns. But even with their relegation, his play deserves so much appreciation.
Ortega finished 2nd this season with 128 total shots saved in the Bundesliga which puts him only behind Gladbach’s penalty king, Yann Sommer. His place in Europe’s 99th percentile with 55.76 touches per game demonstrates that Bielefeld lived and died off his calmness at the back. Ortega added a post-shot xG performance of +7.4 which ranks 4th among Europe’s top flights this past campaign.
He also managed 6 clean sheets and an impressive 73.7% save percentage which is truly sensational given the lackluster play from teammates in front of him. Ortega isn’t the tallest at 185 cm, but his range produces so many highlight-reel saves. He’s already a hot commodity in the summer market as teams are drooling over the idea of bringing a player in of this quality for free.
Clubs such as Schalke, especially after the appointment of Ortega's former coach Frank Kramer, and Hertha Berlin are showing interest. Expect Ortega to move to a squad with a major positional need as at this point in his career the 29-year-old is probably looking for a place in a starting lineup. One lucky team is about to get a force at the back.