Most expected Real Madrid to spend big after the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. He was, after all, the club’s figurehead, not just in a footballing sense, but in a spiritual one too. Instead, they made just one first team addition, signing Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea to fill a position that didn’t need filled.
After all, they already had Keylor Navas, one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, as their number one goalkeeper. Now, it seems that Navas will be forced out of the Santiago Bernabeu with the Costa Rican expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain before the close of the European transfer window.
In doing this, Real Madrid are getting rid of the wrong goalkeeper. Courtois has steadied himself after a difficult start to his Real Madrid career, but there’s still a lingering feeling that the Belgian hasn’t been the same for a number of seasons now. Not so long ago, it could be argue that he was one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Now, it’s much harder to make that point.
What’s more, Real Madrid showed at various times over the course of last season that they are more comfortable with Navas rather than Courtois between the sticks. There was a sense of discomfort between the Belgian and his defence whenever he played. That wasn’t so apparent in the matches Navas played.
Even when he was the undisputed first choice, Navas never quite got the credit he deserved. Some think that was down to the way he was signed. Navas was never a big money, big name signing. Instead, he was a shrewd addition from Levante after an impressive World Cup in 2014.
Some also make the point that Navas’ nationality as a Costa Rican made him somewhat unfashionable. This, of course, would be grossly unfair and unreasonable, but it’s an argument that may carry some weight. Costa Rica is not a renowned producer of top level football talent and so connotations are probably attached to Navas as a result of that.
Navas deserves much better than to be second choice at the Santiago Bernabeu. This is a guy who has won three Champions League titles during his time at Real Madrid as well as a La Liga title. He deserves much more than to be shuffled out the exit door. He deserves to still be Real Madrid’s first choice goalkeeper.
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