With Real Madrid facing an unexpected and untimely injury blow to their star man between the sticks, the process of identifying an adequate replacement for Thibaut Courtois is underway.
A number of names have been identified to fill in Courtois’ absence, with the Belgian keeper expected to miss a large portion of the new season.
One of the latest entries in this growing list of candidates is Leeds’ Illan Meslier.
The profiles on Real Madrid’s radar
According to SPORT, Real Madrid have shortlisted players based on two profiles.
David de Gea and Bono fall under the criteria of experienced and proven players, while Meslier, the latest option being considered, is an example of a younger and “economic” profile.
Meslier has established himself as a starter for Leeds United, having played a pivotal role in their promotion to the Premier League a few years ago.
The 23-year-old is still very young but has gained a lot of experience in England and possesses incredible distribution skills, which will potentially aid Los Blancos greatly when playing out from the back.
Meslier’s time at Leeds has been tumultuous, though, as he started off incredibly strong but began to leak goals excessively owing to sporting disorder in the English team, which eventually led to their relegation from the Premier League last season.
Similarities with Courtois
The physical traits of Meslier are comparable to those of the Belgian shot-stopper.
Meslier can outperform strikers aerially thanks to his extraordinary height of 1’97m, which enables him to parry away or reach balls comfortably.
Moreover, Meslier is renowned for being an adveterous keeper, with a sense of courage that draws similarities to Courtois. However, his risk-taking nature has also cost his side points previously.
Mesilier’s market value stands at €20 million and it remains to be seen whether Real Madrid do act on their interest in the Frenchman or continue to pursue the signing of Bono from Sevilla.
Real Madrid retain total confidence in Carlo Ancelotti despite derby disaster – report
Sunday night was a disappointing one for Real Madrid as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby at the Civitas Metropolitano.
The Merengues suffered their first defeat of the 2023/24 season as former striker Alvaro Morata scored a brace for the Rojiblancos while Antoine Griezmann was also on target.
Real Madrid might be feeling aggrieved by some of the calls made by the referee on the night but they were just not good enough to secure all three points at the Metropolitano.
Real Madrid retain full confidence in Ancelotti
Despite the disappointing performance and outcome, Real Madrid retain their full and total confidence in manager Carlo Ancelotti, reports Jose Felix Diaz (via RM4Arab).
There had been question marks about the team selection made by the manager for the derby against Atletico Madrid.
After all, the Italian opted to bench Joselu from the starting XI to bring in Luka Modric and shift the tactics.
Aurelien Tchouameni was also left out despite being one of the team’s strongest performers this season with Toni Kroos being preferred.
The Real Madrid hierarchy wishes for the manager to trust the next-gen midfield for the big games but Ancelotti’s selection indicated that he is still not ready to do so.
Despite there being some differences, the board retains full confidence in Ancelotti.
Ancelotti accepts blame for defeat
It was a disappointing performance from Real Madrid in their biggest test of the 2023/24 season so far and speaking after the match, manager Ancelotti accepted the blame for the outcome.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility. It’s my fault,” Ancelotti said.
With the game done and dusted, Real Madrid now turn their focus towards producing a strong comeback when they face Las Palmas later this week.