We’ll decide what’s best for each game – Lopetegui explains Courtois absence
Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui said he will decide his goalkeeping situation on a game-by-game basis after star signing Thibaut Courtois was made to wait for his debut again.
Courtois swapped Premier League side Chelsea for European champions Madrid in a £35million move but the Belgium international was on the bench for Sunday’s 4-1 LaLiga win over Girona – Lopetegui opting to retain Keylor Navas.
Lopetegui also preferred Navas to Courtois in Madrid’s LaLiga opener against Getafe, after the 26-year-old Belgian watched from the stands as his new team lost to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on August 15.
Discussing Courtois’ absence in favour of Navas, Lopetegui told reporters: “It’s not a situation that’s easy to understand but it’s simple enough to explain.
“I’ve got some really good options in goal and there are no problems in that area. We’ll decide what’s best for each game.
“Keylor got the nod today and did very well. There’s great competition and that makes us stronger in the goalkeeping department. I’ve got some thoughts in my mind, but I’m not going to share them.
“Over the course of the season, I’ll look for solutions to solve the next immediate challenge.”
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 26, 2018
Madrid star Luka Modric also made his third successive appearance off the bench as the Spanish giants came from behind to beat Girona.
Modric, who was linked with a move to Serie A outfit Inter, was among the substitutes alongside World Cup winner and French defender Raphael Varane on Sunday.
Lopetegui added: “They came back into the fold slightly later on and we have alternatives, other players competing. That’s always important.”