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Real Madrid superstar focused on returning to best form ahead of new season

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

A year after a devastating injury that ruled him out for almost the entirety of the 2023/24 campaign, Thibaut Courtois is back in shape and is ready to make an impact heading into the new season.

The goalkeeper did not represent Belgium during Euro 2024, but this extended break has allowed him to fully recover and focus on regaining his peak performance, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Courtois ready and determined ahead of pre-season

With pre-season training kicking off next week, Courtois will have ample time to get back into the swing of things alongside his teammates.

While Andriy Lunin performed admirably in Courtois’ absence, there’s no doubt that the Belgian shot-stopper remains Carlo Ancelotti’s number-one choice.

Courtois’ experience and leadership qualities make him a crucial figure for Real Madrid.

Ready for the new season (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

With a full year to recover and a clean bill of health, the Belgian is ready to reclaim his title as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

What about Andriy Lunin?

The report adds that Real Madrid have complete faith in Courtois’ abilities and the Belgian will continue to serve as the number one choice, regardless of Andriy Lunin’s fate this summer.

Recent reports, though, do indicate that the Ukrainian international may leave Santiago Bernabeu, especially amid interest from clubs like Arsenal.

Lunin has yet to respond to Real Madrid’s contract offer, meaning the club may have no option but to listen to offers for the goalkeeper.

The Spanish giants have identified quite a few targets, in case Lunin does leave the club. Interestingly, the club have kept Kepa’s return as an option.

The Chelsea goalkeeper should have no problem in continuing to serve as the primary alternative to Courtois next season, though it remains to be seen whether Real Madrid can extend the goalkeeper’s loan deal under the same terms.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid still waiting to see the best version of 24-year-old midfielder

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has been at Real Madrid since 2023 but the Frenchman still hasn’t convinced the club’s hierarchy entirely, reports MARCA.

At just 24 years old, Tchouameni was signed for a staggering €80 million, a fee that could rise to €100 million with additional bonuses. This substantial investment reflects the high hopes that Real Madrid had for him, but so far, he has not lived up to those expectations.

Upon his arrival, the young midfielder’s potential sparked a fierce bidding war two seasons ago, with several top clubs vying for his signature. 

Ultimately, Tchouameni chose Real Madrid, but not before the club shelled out a considerable amount of money to secure his services.

A valiant effort to replace Casemiro

Initially, Tchouameni was brought in as a replacement for the legendary Casemiro. However, he has struggled to fill those big shoes and his performances have been inconsistent, with moments of brilliance interspersed with matches where he fails to make a significant impact. 

While he possesses excellent technical skills, his creativity and ability to influence the game are often questioned. As a result, he has yet to win over the Real Madrid fans.

One of Tchouameni’s strengths is his age. At 24, he still has plenty of room to grow and improve. He understands the high standards that Real Madrid demand from the players and is committed to reaching that level. 

Real Madrid still have hope

Aurelien Tchouameni hasn’t convinced the Real Madrid board entirely. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

The club hopes that he will continue to develop and eventually become a leader in the midfield, especially in the absence of veterans like Toni Kroos. 

However, for this to happen, Tchouameni needs to step up and take charge on the field, asserting himself as a player his teammates can rely on.

Tchouameni’s reserved playing style has even caused coach Carlo Ancelotti to doubt whether he is the right fit for the midfield. As a result, the Italian has considered shifting him to a centre-back position due to his aerial ability and strong positioning. 

When called upon to fill in for injured players like David Alaba and Eder Militao, Tchouameni has performed admirably. In fact, Ancelotti once also chose him over Nacho.

Injuries have not helped his case

It must be noted that injuries have plagued Tchouameni’s time at Real Madrid, causing him to miss 20% of the matches since joining the team. 

Additionally, Ancelotti has kept him on the bench for another 20% of the games over the past two seasons. This means that Tchouameni has been a starter in only 55% of the matches under Ancelotti’s management. 

His absences have gone largely unnoticed, as he missed four of the six Champions League group matches and the final, having little impact on the team’s overall performance.

In summary, Tchouameni remains a work in progress at Real Madrid. His potential is undeniable, but he has yet to fully realize it on the field. 

With time on his side and a clear understanding of what is expected of him, the hope is that he will eventually rise to the challenge and become a key player for the team. Until then, Tchouameni’s journey at Real Madrid continues to be one of promise and uncertainty.

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