Friday, November 15, 2019

Zidane pledges clarity on Madrid goalkeeping situation

SoccerNews in La Liga 2 Apr 2019

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Debates over who is Real Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper will become a thing of the past next season, Zinedine Zidane has promised.

Three-time Champions League winner Keylor Navas was demoted to second choice after the arrival of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in August.

But the Belgium international has struggled for his best form at the Santiago Bernabeu and Navas, who remained Madrid’s goalkeeper for domestic cup matches under Santiago Solari, was restored for the first game of Zidane’s second tenure as head coach – last month’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.

Navas’ late return from international duty with Costa Rica and Courtois sustaining a minor injury while away with his country meant the head coach’s son Luca Zidane started Sunday’s 3-2 win against LaLiga basement boys Huesca.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Valencia, Zidane insisted bringing clarity in the last line of his defence is a priority for next season.

“There’s not going to be a debate next season about the goalkeepers. It’s going to be really clear,” he said.

“We’re not going to have one day talking about him or next week another episode about the goalkeepers. It’s going to be very clear.”

While that stance could mean problems for the senior goalkeepers on Madrid’s books, Luca Zidane’s status has come under question following his selection against Huesca, with critics making accusations of favouritism.

“Nothing changed for me. People who know me know that Luca is here on his own merits. That’s it,” the Real Madrid head coach added.

“He’s a member of this squad and has been here at this club for 16 or 17 years.

“We could speak about other youth-team players. We could talk about [Dani] Carvajal and the debut of many youth-team players here. Luca is one of them.

“People can have their opinion and if they want to take things on a personal level I don’t care about that.”

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