Real Madrid: A detailed look into the ‘revolution’ of the club in 2021

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, Florentino Perez (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, Florentino Perez (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Goalkeeping

Ever since the 2012-13 season, goalkeeping has always been a concern for Real Madrid. After Iker Casillas’ fallout with Jose Mourinho, Diego Lopez became the first-choice goalkeeper and the same continued under Carlo Ancelotti, with Casillas limited to a cup goalkeeper role. After Casillas’ departure, Keylor Navas became the club’s No.1, but his position was always under scrutiny, and the club had almost signed David De Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga in the process. Finally, the club settled down by signing Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in 2018, but his disappointing debut season sent some signs of concern to the Real Madrid board.

But after 2019, Real Madrid never needed to worry about the position of the goalkeeper. Thibaut Courtois successfully redeemed himself and played like a man on a mission. He won the Zamora award in the 2019-20 season, and he has been one of the club’s best players in the 2020-21 season. He has become a match-winner for the by bailing out Los Blancos in almost every game with consistent world-class saves.

And he’s still 29, which is comparatively a young age for a goalkeeper. So Real Madrid has one position safe and secure for the next five seasons. But there is a problem in the goalkeeping department. The problem isn’t about Courtois, it’s about his deputy, Andriy Lunin.

Andriy Lunin

Lunin was bought from Zorya Luhansk in the summer of 2018, for a reported fee of 8.5 million euros. The Ukrainian was a highly hyped teenager back then, but with the presence of Courtois and Navas, Lunin went out on loan to Leganes. But the loan deal failed and Lunin didn’t get many minutes. He was loaned to Real Valladolid and the same thing happened next season, due to which his loan deal was cut short and he was sent to Real Oviedo for six months, where he performed very well.

The 22-year-old returned to Real Madrid this season, to be Courtois’ deputy. But he just got to play 120 minutes all season, that too in the 1-2 loss to Alcoyano. Given Courtois’ form and fitness, he couldn’t expect many minutes, but in the end, he didn’t get any minutes in LaLiga, with Courtois playing every LaLiga and UEFA Champions League match this season.

He is a quality keeper, but he has very minimal experience. He might be too good to be a second-choice keeper, but with someone like Courtois’ being the first choice, you gotta feel bad for him. But Lunin has never shown signs of frustration, and he has always been happy with his situation, which is evident from this interview with Real Madrid TV.

And Real Madrid wouldn’t want to let go of him, because he can be useful if Courtois faces a spell on the sidelines. Real Madrid wouldn’t want the same situation they faced with Keylor Navas’ injury in 2017, as Kiko Casilla disappointed everyone with his performance. But with a long summer ahead, anything can happen and there is a possibility of Lunin changing the decision about his future.

Diego Altube

Diego Altube is technically the club’s third-choice keeper, despite not playing a single minute and not making his official debut for the Real Madrid first-team. The La Fabrica graduate has played just two games all season with Castilla and missed most of the games due to his first-team commitments. He looks like a promising keeper from the training videos and Castilla appearances, and he could most probably go out on loan this season or be sold this summer, as the Spaniard would be looking for game time.

Possible reinforcements:

There’s no need for anybody at the moment, but changes can still be expected for the backup role.