Neuer played for Schalke 04 II during 2003–04, 2004–05, 2006–07, and 2008–09. Neuer signed professional terms in 2005 after progressing through every age group at his hometown club, Schalke 04. Neuer didn't make any first team appearances during the 2005–06 season. He made his Bundesliga debut with Schalke when he came on to substitute the injured Frank Rost on matchday 2 of the 2006–07 season. The 20-year-old eventually won the starting position when Rost was surprisingly dropped for the crunch clash against Bayern Munich. Neuer did not disappoint and managed to secure a 2–2 draw against the defending champions. He made 27 league appearances during the 2006–07 season. Despite his young age, he was widely tipped to be a potential successor to his former idol Jens Lehmann in the future for the German national team.