With Lunin poised to be back-up to Thibaut Courtois, the young goalkeeper has the opportunity to shine in his first role for the club that signed him two years ago. Although he may be the second-choice in goal, he will be spending regular time with Real Madrid’s first-team, which may prove to be an invaluable experience in of itself.
Andriy Lunin Worthy Of Real Madrid Opportunity
Lunin finished his season on loan with a respectable six clean sheets in 20 appearances in La Liga 2. He saved three of seven penalties he faced during the course of the campaign and recorded a .742 save percentage.
Two seasons in Spain are now under his belt and this past loan spell showed he’s ready to make the jump to Real Madrid’s first-team. At 21, he is still developing as a goalkeeper. Perhaps ideally, the club would want him to spend more time on loan. But with the current climate in football, the opportunity may have come earlier than expected.
A Season of Growth
It’s unlikely Lunin will be able to dethrone Courtois as Real Madrid’s number one option. Courtois started in all but four La Liga fixtures and was only on the bench for one Champions League fixture during the group stage.
Like most world class clubs backup goalkeepers, Lunin is going to find his playing time in the domestic cups and an occasional league fixture from time to time. This might not necessarily be the worst thing for him. As previously mentioned, he is going to be training regularly with Real Madrid alongside Courtois. The 21-year-old is yet to spend a full season with the club, and his experience in the months to come could continue to put him on the path to being a future first-choice goalkeeper.
Currently, both Courtois and Lunin are under contract at Real Madrid until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season. This means the two goalkeepers could have a long time together in the years to come if they both remain for the duration of their contracts. At some point during this time period, a fierce battle for the starting role may occur. For now, it’s Courtois’ to lose.
National Team Selection
Euro 2021 is on the horizon for Lunin and Ukraine. As of right now, he is not the number one goalkeeper for Ukraine, with veteran goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov occupying the starting role. If Lunin can perform well enough for Real Madrid in the season to come, he could see a more involved role with his national team when the time for the tournament comes.
He played tremendously during last summer’s 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup, where Ukraine went on to win the title. Lunin’s performance during the competition showed exactly why Real Madrid signed him in 2018.
With success coming at the youth national team level, all that remains to be seen is if he can produce similar results with the senior team. How well he performs for Real Madrid this season could dictate if he gets opportunities to be in the starting XI for Ukraine during Euro 2021.
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