If one turns the clock back to the final of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League, they would understand the importance of Thibaut Courtois in this Real Madrid side. Be it the biggest stage or a game against a third-division opponent, the Belgian guarantees a performance any goalkeeper would be proud of.
To say that he is one of the backbones of the team would be an understatement. His absence, needless to say, is a very big blow to Real Madrid’s campaign.
This past weekend, Los Blancos confirmed that the shot-stopper would be sidelined through sciatica. No expected return date was provided because the prognosis of the condition depends entirely on the recovery.
Reliable journalist Mario Cortegana reports that the injury is worse than was initially thought. Commenting on Courtois’s situation, he said:
“With Courtois, we have to be cautious. On Sunday morning it seemed minor. Now the plan is to not let him play until El Clasico. Let’s see how it evolves.”
While Carlo Ancelotti hopes to have the Belgian back in time for the clash against Barcelona, his participation is far from guaranteed. Until his return, Andriy Lunin will start in between the sticks and hope to prove his worth to the manager.
For the first time in the season, Real Madrid dropped points against Osasuna at the weekend. Coincidentally, that was also their first game without Courtois and Ancelotti will hope that the two events are not correlated.
The goalkeeper will be on the sidelines for his team’s two clashes against Shakhtar Donetsk and the La Liga game with Getafe in between. With the Clasico scheduled in less than two weeks, he will have to rush his recovery to make the dream return possible.
Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report
With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.
One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.
According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.
Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.
Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.
Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.