The Real Madrid faithful witnessed a dramatic upheaval in the goalkeeping ranks as Los Blancos were forced to scavenge the market following the untimely injury to Tibo Courtois.
After much examination in the transfer market, having studied the possible arrivals of David de Gea and Yassine Bounou, the Merengues ended up acquiring Kepa Arrizabalaga as Courtois’ replacement.
The Spaniard has agreed to a one-season loan at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the contract not including a purchase clause and Real Madrid being charged a loan fee of €1 million.
Kepa set to be given a starting role
Now, according to Marca (h/t Madrid Xtra), Kepa is at Real Madrid to be the starting goalkeeper, and he will not be a backup option, especially until Courtois is out.
Kepa currently finds himself competing with Andriy Lunin, who was previously the backup to Courtois and now may be behind Kepa in the pecking order.
Lunin played his hand in Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory against Athletic Club in the league opener, as he enjoyed a clean sheet and received praise from Carlo Ancelotti in the post-match conference.
Nonetheless, Kepa has plied his trade with some of Europe’s top sides prior to joining Madrid and arrives with considerable experience guarding the sticks.
The player was rumored to be on his way to Bayern before Madrid came knocking, and one of the factors that is likely to have swayed his decision is the guarantee of being a starting goalkeeper.
The former Chelsea man has already been officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player.
It is expected that he will feature in the next La Liga game for the Royal Whites against Almeria as he begins his new journey in the Spanish Capital.
Video: Real Madrid vs Las Palmas ends in dispute between Ancelotti and star forward
Real Madrid’s game against Las Palmas this midweek was an important one for the club.
The Spanish giants secured a 2-0 victory over the Canaries. But more importantly, the game witnessed the return of Vinicius Junior, who was coming back from an injury.
However, it was not the most pleasing return from the Brazilian, who had an altercation with head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Dispute ends without a handshake
A video has surfaced recently which shows that Vinicius Junior and Ancelotti even ended the game without even shaking hands.
The altercation started when Ancelotti was seen talking to Vinicius, asking him to play more freely.
🚨🚨🚨🎥 مترجم |— شبكة RM4Arab (@RM4Arab) September 28, 2023
خلاف بين فينيسيوس و انشيلوتي ينتهي دون مصافحة بين الطرفين بعد نهاية مباراة لاس بالماس.
Vinicius, though, was not happy with the Italian’s tactics. He pointed out his disagreement with Ancelotti and highlighted the team’s lack of structure.
Ancelotti continued to yell at the Brazilian, asking him to play a certain way. The matters turned worse when Vini continued to turn his back on the Real Madrid coach.
After the final whistle, the Brazilian international did glance past Ancelotti without even shaking his hand.
Ancelotti under pressure
This is a worrying sign for Real Madrid and an indicator that the team is not entirely happy with Ancelotti, who has faced criticism despite a relatively good start to the season.
Although the Real Madrid board has continued to back the former AC Milan and PSG coach, the Italian is certainly running on thin ice.
The upcoming games against Girona, Napoli and Osasuna could be crucial as Real Madrid look to maintain their winning momentum, especially following a derby defeat to Atleti.
In the meantime, Ancelotti must definitely have a word with Vinicius and calm the Brazilian, knowing the attacker could play a key role in revving up the team’s offensive unit in the coming weeks.