Andriy Lunin did not have the year many Madrid fans hoped for, he was kept on the bench for most of the season, playing second fiddle to Ivan Cuellar. After impressing with limited minutes in preseason, it was expected that Lunin’s loan would see him gain valuable experience, playing week in and week out in La Liga. It wasn’t to be, but that does not mean he is not a great prospect — Joseba Ituarte, the Leganes goalkeeper coach, had nothing but praise for the Ukrainian. In an interview with Radio Marca, he spoke at length about the young goalkeeper, “He is ready to play at the top level in La Liga, He is a very complete goalkeeper. He has all of the physical tools. It has been a pleasant surprise to train and work with him on a daily basis. He has a great head on his shoulders. I predict a great future, whether it be at Real Madrid or elsewhere. He has all the qualities of a great goalkeeper”, assured Joseba Ituarte.
The coach from Leganes went on to discuss the players time at the club and where he projects his level, “He loves it at Leganes, but the ultimate decision is with Real Madrid. He is more than ready to play in the first division. I see a goalkeeper with a great future. That being said, the goalkeeping position at Real Madrid isn’t for everyone. If he can minimize his errors, he play for a big club, for a team in the Champions League,” he affirmed.
When asked who best represented Lunin’s goalkeeping style, three names came to Joseba Ituarte’s mind: “ He resembles Bodo Illgner [former Real Madrid goalkeeper]. Or a Peter Cech in the English league or an Oblak in the Spanish league. An all around, very good goalkeeper. He is prepared, I see him ready to play for any team in the Spanish league”.
It’s not clear what the future holds for Lunin. 34-year-old, Ivan Cuellar, is rumored to be on his way out of Leganes with his contract expiring this summer. Head coach, Mauricio Pellegrino, has already come out and stated that he would like Lunin to continue with another year at Leganes. Marca has suggested that Luca Zidane may be the second choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid potentially ruling out a return to Los Blancos. With the quality Lunin possesses, it would be more important for him to play significant minutes and gain experience next year rather than sit second choice to Thibaut Courtois.