After this weekend's performances, especially against Mexico I think it’s time to talk about Keylor Navas going forward. This isn’t the Navas that stood on his head and led us to the Champions League title by being one of the best custodians of the whole tournament.
Where is that Keylor? This season he has been nowhere to be found. Could it be a combination of injury hangover and confidence? It’s not like the Spanish press have kept quiet about the President possibly looking to replace him. Heck, if there hadn’t been the whole fax machine thing - we wouldn’t be having this conversation. De Gea would be in net, and all would be right with the world.
What Navas is doing now isn’t acceptable, especially when it comes to Real Madrid. There’s a standard to be met here, and I don’t know if he’s keeping up with that. Something changed after his injury and has caused him to regress. Which in the middle of a possible double run isn’t optimal.
Let’s look at Navas’ numbers.
In 29 matches he’s conceded 35 goals(!), when you break it down he concedes 1.2 goals a game and has only five clean sheets. This is mind boggling to me, last season he collected 22 clean sheets across all competitions! He conceded 31 goals in 45 matches across all competitions. That works out to .69 goals a match.
The quite a difference from what we’re seeing now.
Maybe it’s time to hand the reigns over to Kiko Casilla? He’s proven more than capable when he filled in at the start of the season. Why not rotate the two between league and Champions League? There are some important fixtures on the way that could determine whether or not we win the league title. One way or another Keylor’s time should be limited. Okay maybe not that drastic, just sit him out a couple matches. Let him ride the pine, step back from the pressure and get his head straight. Then have him finish out the season depending on form.
At the end of the season, it’s time to get shopping.
I’ve got three keepers on my wish list and with no more transfer ban, there are keepers to be had. Especially when you have the checkbook of Real Madrid.
He’s the sexy pick.
I see Gigi Donnarumma as an bit more of a long shot, but worth it if you can pry him away from AC Milan. The Rossoneri are currently being bought by Chinese investors - or at least that’s what is supposed to be happening. And maybe with the club in a state of flux, Real Madrid can swoop in and pick up the Italian goalkeeping prodigy.
What’s not to like about this kid?
He made his international debut at 17 which broke a record and is seen as Gigi Buffon’s heir on the Italian national team. One of his main assets is his age, he’s only 18!
He’s already awesome, so imagine what’s going to happen when he gets older and more savvy. Being 6’5 and physically intimidating helps too. One thing he’d really have to work on if he came to Madrid is his catching, he’s just not very good at it. That said he’s still world class at such a young age and might be worth the flyer.
This season Donnarumma has allowed 36 goals in 32 matches across all competitions. That works out to just over a goal a game at 1.12. But, he only allows a goal every 3 saves.
David De Gea
This seems to be the most obvious.
He’s been linked to Real Madrid for a while now. If I was a betting man, I’d say he’s the most likely target. He’s got a lot of things going for him including being Spanish and the ‘future’ of the national team.
If Pérez is looking for a Galactico this would be right up his alley. We already know that he has a thing for the Spaniard. He is arguably one of the best goaltenders on this planet. He has a few things on Gigi Donnarumma including age and experience and if Real Madrid not looking to invest and looking to go for the right now.
Then look no further.
He’s allowed 34 goals in 37 appearances and 12 clean sheets. He’s averaging just under a goal a match at .92 this season - which translates to 1.95 saves per goal. In comparison, Navas is actually better with 2.33 saves. Still it’s the goals per season that I’m looking at and under a goal is good for me.
Here’s another goalkeeper that’s been linked with Real Madrid over the past year or so. I’d call him a sexy pick as well, but more obtainable than Mr. Donnarumma. Listen I know he had a crap season last year, as did the rest of Chelsea when they were trying to defend their Premier League title.
The 24 year Belgium native has been in the Champions League with the Royal Whites crosstown rivals Los Rojiblancos. He also won the Europa League while at Atleti. During his time with Atletico he also won the Ricardo Zamora Award for lowest goals to game ratio in back to back seasons.
There really hasn’t been contract talks between Chelsea and Courtois lately. Though they could offer him a extension that’s worth turning his back on the greatest football club on the planet so be it. On the stats end this season, he’s allowed 21 goals across all competitions with 14 clean sheets in 29 outings. He’s averaging averaging .72 goals per game which is better than De Gea.
This is a goalkeeper that helps win trophies. That said Courtois has a very distinguished resume.
Honestly, I’m torn between De Gea and Courtois.
I think Donnaruma is a longshot at best. One rumor floating around is that when Buffon is done at Juventus that he’ll be brought over. Which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. So I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ve seen other names thrown like Kasper Schmeichel from Leicester City and Hugo Lloris from Spurs (neither very sexy).
Hey anything is possible right?
Seriously though - something needs to happen this summer. I just don’t think Keylor Navas continues on after the end of this season.