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 teenage prodigy needs to play more, insists national team manager
The situation with Arda Guler at Real Madrid has become tense in recent days. The Turkish phenom has not been at the receiving end of many minutes despite completing his recovery from injuries, and the player is now getting fed up with his situation.
It is, however, not just Guler who is affected by the situation. With the European Championships coming up, the 19-year-old looks likely to enter the competition with Turkey with no match fitness, and his international federation is far from happy with his situation.
Turkey manager speaks out
Speaking at the recent sponsorship event of the Turkish National Team, head coach Vincenzo Montella was asked to comment on Guler’s situation at Real Madrid.
As a former Sevilla coach and with knowledge of how La Liga works, he understood the circumstances and hoped for the player to see more minutes.
“He is playing very little, but I hope he can do it from now on because he has a lot of talent,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.
Montella went on to reinstate that he still maintains complete confidence in the Real Madrid star’s abilities for the upcoming tournament, despite his drought for minutes.
“We are following him very carefully. We want our players to be in their best physical condition for the European Championship.”
Exit on the cards?
Guler has played only 92 minutes all season and is now vexed by his helplessness. As revealed yesterday, he feels misguided and is unhappy with how the circumstances are currently.
The disappointed star, thus, could seek an exit, potentially on loan, from the club next summer if his situation does not improve.
But with Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz both on song, it does not appear like Guler’s chance in Madrid will arrive anytime soon.
Carlo Ancelotti retains faith in the Turkish star, and it remains to be seen if he looks to turn the player’s fortune around in the coming months.