Real Madrid: Iker Casillas’ career hangs in the balance as David De Gea nears move to Bernabeu

Real Madrid, after having a serious debacle last season where they finished the season empty handed after winning La Decima the season before, is looking to strengthen their squad this season. Madrid has long been an admirer of David De Gea from the days when he used to play for cross-town rivals Athletico Madrid, but couldn’t convince him to come to Bernabeu back in 2011. However, this time around, De Gea seems to be more convinced about a move to the Los Blancos side, and there’s no doubt there is a need to strengthen their defensive line with a more assured man between the sticks.

Casillas, a world class goal-keeper, probably the best of his generation and his record speaks for himself. However, he has had a hard time for Real Madrid and Spain in the recent times, and had to face the anger and disappointment of the Bernabeu faithful last season. He had a mediocre World Cup and was one of the prime reasons for the La Roja’s early exit from Brazil. His form throughout the season raised eyebrows of many, and led to questions as to why Navas was not being started more often, a proposition Ancelotti, at the time was not willing to accept. Mistakes such as a first goal against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon in the league match, that opened the gates for the worst defeat for Madrid against their noisy neighbours in the league, made Madrid pay a heavy price in the end as Madrid lost the league even though they were four points clear at the top after Christmas break.

De Gea, on the contrary, had one of the best, if not, the best season for the Red Devils in 14/15, where he was among the best goalkeeper’s throughout the season along with Chelsea’s Courtois and spurs Hugo Lloris. De Gea seemed the only assured block in a defense of uncertainty for United throughout the season. He was quick on the feet, and had the ability to stay big in one-on-one situations. He is the one prime reason as to why United were able to qualify for the Champions League, as he earned them some precious points.

Looking into exclusive stats from SportsMatrix, De Gea had 30.8% good saves compared to 19.4% of Casillas throughout the league in 14/15, and also had nearly double of spectacular saves of 15% compared to 7.8% of Casillas during the same time, which exactly proves why Madrid is after this young Spaniard and is willing to let go their living legend.

Another important factor that is influencing Madrid’s decision to go for the United number one is his young age, and at the age of 24 and given the amount of talent he possesses, he will surely stay on at the Bernabeu for a while to come.

De Gea is all set to leave Manchester United for the Spanish giants if media reports are to be believed, as the deal is seems to be coming to closure in the next few days. However, the real question is where does Casillas go on from here? Casillas, who is still only 34 despite the fact that he seems to have been around for an eternity. The World Cup winner will be looking to switch to a side where he will get a first team role, and either Arsenal or Tottenham could be possibly the destination for the Spanish legend.

Indeed, it now seems Arsenal is in for Chelsea’s Peter Cech as they are looking to end their goalkeeping woes should keep their eye on Casillas situation in case they won’t be able to land the Czech international. Spurs on the other hand, seems to have resigned to the fact that their star man Lloris will leave the club for Manchester United in order to get Champions League football, and they would love to get the experienced Spaniard to take over the charge between the sticks.

Casillas’ leadership quality along with his experience as a keeper where he has spent all of his life at a club of the size of Madrid is bound to help any side in need of a goalkeeper. For Casillas, a change of club might help him to regain the lost form and become the keeper he once was, which will be a great spectacle to watch out for.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

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