de gea photo

Real Madrid missed out on signing De Gea from Manchester United (for whatever amount, as it is irrelevant now) by 26 minutes.

Or by 8 minutes? I don’t know as the statement put out by Real Madrid makes matters even more confusing rather than resolving them.

And what is with Manchester United and Real Madrid anyway? They had all summer to figure this transfer out and yet they waited for the last 12 hours to finish up on paperwork?

And now, after being made to look like kindergarten squabbling kids, Real Madrid and Manchester United play the blame game.

To Manchester United, this debacle means little. Manchester United wasn’t going to be in contention for winning Champions League or the league title this year anyway so by not signing a player they wanted doesn’t do them much harm.

I think they will will be pretty solid with the likes of Sergio Roberto who Louis Van Gaal has played in each of the opening six fixtures this season for Manchester United.

But for Real Madrid, without Casillas or Diego Lopez (decent keeper though was really poor against chipped shots) this does mean serious trouble. Real Madrid has shot itself in the foot and here are the reasons why:

  • Real Madrid now have a player they don’t want. Keylor Navas is not wanted by Real Madrid. Worse than that, now everyone knows that Real Madrid wanted to get rid of a player but they could not finish the job in time.
    This means Real Madrid are now stuck with a mediocre goalkeeper. And how does this affect Rafa Benitez?
    I know in the interviews he has been pretty straightforward about how, in his mind, Keylor Navas will remain the number one goalkeeper for Real Madrid this season but how does this De Gea saga affect him?
    What message does it give out to the fans that Real Madrid now have a player who is not wanted by the coaching staff.
    The Marca poll showed that most of the Real Madrid fans wanted De Gea to come to Real Madrid next summer for free rather than come to Real Madrid this summer for 40 million pounds but still, it raises a question about squad unity and how other players would perceive Rafa Benitez’s plans since obviously he gave a green light to De Gea transfer
    . Otherwise, he could have said a solid no to the management and that would have been the end of it.
  • Real Madrid don’t have a player they wanted. How would it affect the plans that were in place as far as trophies are concerned for this season?
    Were those plans contingent on De Gea’s arrival? What would happen to those plans now? Would Real Madrid sign another keeper in January?
    The more uncertainty there is at the club, the worse it would be for it on the pitch as well. I just don’t know, how Rafa Benitez would deal with all of this.
    How does this affect his strategic vision for the whole season.
    If he had envisioned De Gea as a central player to his plans for Real Madrid this season then how would he be able to adjust those plans without De Gea if at all because Keylor isn’t certainly going to cut it when he is facing Messi, Suarez, Neymar and possibly Hazard or Ibrahimovic in Champions League.
  • Keylor Navas will not be able to handle Champions League pressure. He is a Costa Rican goalkeeper. Which means he has never had to bear much pressure when it comes to big tournaments.
    Costa Rica, for all its heroics in CONCACAF and World Cup 2014 is not an elite team and is never expected to be amongst the top four of any tournament.
    Keylor Navas just does not have that quality. He is too weak, too mediocre and too dumb to be honest. He would get outfoxed easily by strikers hired by clubs such as Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG and Juventus even.
  • What if Keylor Navas gets injured? Real Madrid would be left with Kiko Casilla. An even worse alternative.
    What was Real Madrid management thinking?
    Here we have a team which has probably the greatest front three in the history of club football but has a goalkeeper whose average play level is that of someone playing in a Sunday League match or something.
    Keylor Navas just won’t cut it for Real Madrid. And how would Benitez go about rotating the goalkeepers?
    He certainly can’t rotate like Ancelotti did when he played Casillas in most matches and Keylor Navas in matches that were of little importance.
    Now, Real Madrid find themselves in a situation that it has to play that goalkeeper of ‘less important matches’ in , possibly, all the matches.
    What if Keylor Navas gets a red card? Real Madrid would definitely get nailed in the next match where most likely Kiko would stand between the goal posts.
    If somehow, Kiko get injured which certainly can happen because he would have been training his body for being the 2nd goalkeeper at Real Madrid( and also because we know that the human body contracts and expands in less than ideal ways when under immense pressure. Pressure which comes from playing in the Champions League or La Liga for Real Madrid.It is even worse when a day ago you knew that ,at best ,you would be a substitute goalkeeper when the first goalkeeper is away on holidays)Real Madrid would have to play someone from Real Madrid B team wihch would be a certain disaster.
  • Even if we forget everything in the preceding paragraphs, how does this debacle affect Keylor Navas?
    Would he not be absolutely demoralised and devastated after finding (I guess he partially knew before hand.)out that Real Madrid wanted to get rid of him and actually, the club tried its utmost to get rid of him till the dying minutes of the transfer window but could not do so because of the callousness shown by Manchester United?
    How would he pick himself up everyday for training sessions when he knows that he is not wanted by the club. What about his loyalty to the club?
    Would Keylor Navas think about giving away goals in important matches to teach Real Madrid a lesson? Or will he use this opportunity like Beckham did under Capello at Real Madrid or like C.Ronaldo did at Manchester United under Ferguson.
    Both of these players were practically axed by their respective managers but they came back with full force and won the confidence of not only the manager but also the team and actually helped the team win silverware.
    I, for one, would not blame Keylor Navas if he indeed was thinking along these lines right now in his head. Big questions need to be answered now

Conclusion

Manchester United has always played hardball with Spanish teams when it comes to player transfers because, let’s face it, Manchester United is a big fish in a small pond of English Premier League but a small fish in the ocean when it deals in Europe.

English teams have generally been uncooperative with Spanish teams (like Real Madrid and Barcelona). Every season for the past 10 or 20 seasons we have seen transfer sagas like the one of De Gea.

It happened with C.Ronaldo, Beckham, Thierry Henry, Fabregas and now De Gea. Gareth Bale’s was relatively straightforward because Tottenham didn’t have any choice and need some cash to support its finances.

Real Madrid might be able to coop without De Gea this season but it will be difficult especially in big matches against Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Champions League.

For De Gea, I do feel sorry. He was stuck in a bad situation between two rival clubs. I don’t know what would become of him now.

Van Gaal doesn’t trust him. De Gea knows Luis does trust him and he also knows (like Keylor Navas) that his club tried to get rid of him till the last minute and had it not been for some damn paperwork, he would be at the club.

Will De Gea remain the same player till next season? Would this saga affect his reflexes, his speed or his fitness levels? I would love to hear from you guys.

One thing is for certain. Iker Casillas of Porto would, absolutely, be rolling on the floor laughing.

Hala Madrid!!!

Photo by mattyp_