Ever since Fiorentino Perez took over the reigns as the owner of Real Madrid, the club have been associated in a very different way. Before Perez’s arrival, Real Madrid were one of the European giants, a side who has plenty of world-class talents and who were capable of not just buying some of the world’s best players, but also producing them, through their academy. Although Los Blancos are still European giants, they are now seen as a “buying club” rather than being seen as a self-sustaining club.
The fact that Real Madrid have broken the world transfer record thrice in the last half-a-dozen years is a testament to just that. They are now seen as a club, who although continue to produce quality young players, are more interested in purchasing the finest young talents from elsewhere instead of giving their own youngsters a go. They are seen as a club, who buy players on the logic “buy first, ask questions later”.
The rumour that the club are after Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, has done nothing to quash that, whatsoever. It was only a few days back that the club signed World Cup sensation Keylor Navas from Levante and with the likes of Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez (for the time being) already in their ranks, there is no apparent need for another goalkeeper. Let alone one who hasn’t been in the best of forms, in the past 18 months and doesn’t want to warm the bench all season long.
Irrespective of whether the move comes through or not, even the mere rumour that the club are in for another goal keeper, when they already have three three-class keepers is one of the main reasons why the club are looked upon with disdain by fans of other clubs. While it is true that Lopez is set to leave the club this summer, the arrival of Navas already seems to have addressed that concern.
While there are numerous reasons why this is a bad move for both parties, let me list out a couple. First and foremost is the fact that Cech is unlikely to leave Chelsea as he has been one of the club’s stalwarts for the past decade. Even if he does, the main reason for that will likely be the fact that he won’t be the first choice, thanks to the arrival of Thibaut Courtois. Any move he does make, will be dependent on him being first-choice at the club he joins. Since Real Madrid will be unable to promise him that, it is unlikely that he would want to swap Chelsea for Madrid, when he is only going to be warming the bench in both places.
The second reason is the age factor. Keylor Navas, the club’s alleged first-choice keeper since his arrival is 27, Casillas is 33. Although age is normally not a problem for goalkeepers, it looks as though Cech, at 32, is on the way down after more than a decade at the top. With this being the case, it makes little sense for him to replace either Casillas or Lopez, when he isn’t significantly younger or better than either of them.
Another problem with buying Cech is that it is highly dependent of the sale of at least one, if not both of their keepers from last season. Since club legend Casillas is unlikely to be booted away, the fall guy might just be Lopez, who is set to sign for AC Milan after an impressive stint wit the Capital club. But, if Casillas doesn’t leave and Cech comes in, the club will have not one, not two, but three world class keepers fighting for just one spot. Even if Ancelotti decides to have one keeper for the League, Cup and Europe, there will still be another keeper who will be on the bench for the entire season barring an injury to the other.
While competition for places is good, three goal keepers fighting for one spot isn’t. Real Madrid would do well to stick with their current crop of keepers and not buy another one. But, if Perez really does want to spend some money on a keeper, he would be better off if he does so on a up-and-coming teenage starlet rather than a 32-year-old who looks past his prime.