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Ancelotti delighted with the improvements shown by 24-year-old Real Madrid star



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

MARCA has reported that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is delighted with the ‘new Andriy Lunin’ as he could evidently see the change in the performances of the Ukrainian against Athletic Club and Almeria.

It is no secret that Real Madrid looked for ways to offload the stopper this summer. As reported before, the team from the Spanish capital wanted the 24-year-old to leave, but the player refused to do so.

Following a season where Lunin unexpectedly claimed a more substantial role than anticipated (making 12 appearances) owing to Thibaut Courtois’ recurring physical setbacks, the consensus was that the custodian was not at the level needed and that a change between the goalposts was in order. 

Lunin now reaping rewards

However, Lunin came up with an alternative strategy, one that did not involve parting ways with Real Madrid. Despite receiving counsel urging him to seek more playing time, the goalkeeper opted to stay and honour the final year of his contract. 

For Ancelotti, this decision from Lunin has brought a sense of tranquillity. It has been accompanied by a significant transformation in the goalkeeper’s approach. 

While he chose not to heed the advice suggesting a departure, he did appear to embrace other recommendations aimed at enhancing his circumstances – both on and off the field. This alteration has not gone unnoticed, and its effects are palpable.

This evolution revolves around his enhanced dedication to team dynamics, as he actively forges stronger bonds with his fellow players and assumes a more engaged role in the team’s daily interactions beyond training sessions.

Lunin was once an unwanted player at Real Madrid (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Ancelotti likes the new Lunin

Lunin’s transformation had been a noticeable shift even before Courtois’ unfortunate injury. However, the Belgian’s prolonged absence has further solidified this turning point for the Ukrainian goalkeeper. 

Courtois’ once unquestioned stranglehold on the goalkeeper position had created a challenge for Lunin, who now envisions realistic opportunities to contend for the coveted spot.

Admittedly, the arrival of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Ancelotti’s swift endorsement of him as the preferred choice for the starting role has shifted the landscape. 

Yet, Kepa’s profile differs from that of Courtois, and it is within this distinction that Lunin sees his chances of earning his stripes while awaiting a window of opportunity that seemed perpetually closed.

It’s worth noting that Ancelotti’s decision to field Kepa in the recent match against Celta Vigo wasn’t a reflection of Lunin’s shortcomings but rather a matter of organizational hierarchy. 

Kepa has been entrusted as the formidable successor to Courtois, and despite Lunin’s commendable response, there was no compelling reason to disrupt the succession plan.

However, Lunin could potentially reap his rewards if Ancelotti includes him in upcoming matches or uses him for the entire Copa del Rey campaign. 

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender taken off with an injury against Las Palmas



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

There just does not appear to be any respite from injuries for Real Madrid.

Just when it appeared that they were close to having their full squad – barring the two long-term absentees – the Merengues have been struck down by fresh injuries this week.

Arda Guler, who was on the cusp of being named in the squad for the Las Palmas clash, injured himself in training on Tuesday.

And now, during the game against Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid have lost key defender David Alaba to an injury.

Close to the 40th-minute mark, Alaba went down on the ground clutching his leg and appeared to be in quite a bit of discomfort.

Soon enough, the medical staff arrived to take a look at the Austrian and seconds later he was off the pitch and straight towards the tunnel.

Lucas Vazquez came on to replace the injured Alaba, with Nacho Fernandez moving into the centre-back position alongside Antonio Rudiger.

Alaba’s injury leaves Carlo Ancelotti with just two fit centre-backs in Rudiger and Nacho, which is set to be a matter of great concern.

The hope will be that Alaba’s condition is nothing serious and that he is able to mount a quick recovery.

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