Last season, Keylor Navas was incredible between the posts. He almost left the club, remember, in an unexpected move to Manchester United during summer 2015, but that did not discourage him. He pulled off a lot of saves, decided matches, and struck fear into the opposition. It was very difficult having to fill Iker Casillas’ gloves, too.
Navas not the same since ankle op
The season ended and he required surgery on his Achilles tendon. While he recovered, we were able to see Kiko Casilla, a solid goalkeeper who left no complaints. Once cured though, Keylor resumed his no.1 role, which was logical given his performances the previous season. But he’s not been the same. He doesn’t manage those miracle stops anymore, he comes off his line less, and has shown signs of poor positional awareness (at Sevilla and against Napoli) that have cost the team serious goals.
Polls say that fans would prefer Kiko Casilla
So now there are grumbles. After the Napoli game, Zidane decided to rest him for the next match at the Bernabéu versus Espanyol. Madrid fans can be very harsh. All the players from every era of the side have told me that there is a unique sound at the stadium; a murmur of mistrust or disapproval which diminishes the self-esteem of those who are not strong minded. That's why Zidane took him out of that game. He returned in Valencia and Madrid lost. It was not Navas’ fault though: Zaza's goal was unsaveable and Orellana's went between his legs. But, in any case, the result did not improve Keylor's current position. Now the polls (and not only in AS) say that the fans would prefer Casilla.
De Gea and Courtois being lined up
What will Zidane do? We'll see on Saturday if he gives us a clue. Meanwhile, the club are again sneaking a peak over at England. Florentino was not happy with the outcome of the David De Gea saga and, according to many sources, wants to return for him. But United would slap a very expensive price tag on De Gea, who is practically their flagship player. Others in the club prefer Chelsea’s Courtois, who might be easier to sign, although nothing is ever easy. But we are certainly talking about reinforcements for next year.
A devilish dilemma
For now though, there is a devilish dilemma: wait for Keylor Navas to recover that splendorous form again or give a vote of confidence to Casilla, a goalkeeper of solidness and security.
Follow the LaLiga 2016/2017 match Villarreal – Real Madrid .