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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper set to return to the club following Lille loan

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Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Over the past few years, Jan Oblak has set the bar so high for himself that he fell prey to his own greatness this season.

The Slovenian established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world with his remarkable consistency but has not enjoyed the same form this year.

In 37 league starts, Oblak has kept only 12 clean sheets and averages more than one goal conceded every ninety minutes. Moreover, he records less than two saves per game and has saved only one of eight penalties faced this season.

Though there is little reason to panic over Oblak’s slight dip in form, the club require an able backup option to cover for the 29-year-old. One of the options is Ivo Grbic, though he is not the management’s first choice.

The Croatian arrived at Wanda Metropolitano in August 2020 from Lokomotiv Moscow and spent a year under Diego Simeone. However, he made only one appearance and decided to leave the club in search of more minutes.

In 2021, he left Simeone’s side to join Lille in Ligue 1 on a loan deal. His contract with the French side included a €8 million purchase clause that was not mandatory.

According to reports from Ruben Uria of Goal, Lille have opted against using their purchase option on the goalkeeper. Unless an offer arrives, Grbic will return to Atletico Madrid at the end of the season and will participate in preseason as a substitute for Jan Oblak.

The 26-year-old has started 21 league games for Lille this season and has maintained just two clean sheets. He concedes 1.3 goals per game on average but has made close to three saves per game during the same duration.

Grbic could be a valuable option to the manager next season, especially given the situation of Oblak. However, it remains to be seen if the Croat accepts a subsidiary role.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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