By ’Tayo Amosu
October 10, 2014
The talk of Arsenal’s interest in bringing in veteran goal keeper, Iker Casillas surfaced in the media all summer long but the Real Madrid shot stopper has come out to say that Arsenal indeed, were interested in signing him, but the keeper opted for a Real Madrid stay.
Casillas said: ‘‘There was a lot of talk about an offer from Arsenal, but there was nothing concrete. I want to stay at Real Madrid, keep fighting here and finish my career here.”
The goal keeper has returned as number 1 for Real Madrid despite the signing on Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican, whose 2014 FIFA world Cup’s performance was second to none.
Casillas played second fiddle to Diego Lopez under the management of Jose Mourinho and much of last season under Carlo Ancelotti.
The 33-year-old however continued to play for Spain and in the world cup suffered a painful exit due to abysmal performances from Brazil.
His issues started with Jose Mourinho, towards the end of the season, in the Portuguese coach’s time at the club last year.
Casillas, whose woes continued into the last season, had to make transfer plans by reason of his club’s acquisition of Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican goalkeeper, from fellow La Liga outfit, Levante.
The Spaniard is said to be set for crunch meetings with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez to discuss his future at the world football giants.
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Spanish number one with his teammates suffered a shameful exit, with the player conceding 7 goals from 2 matches.
However, it is worthy of note that despite his dip in form in recent times, Iker Casillas still stands as one of the most decorated goalkeepers in world football today.
The keeper has won 5 La Liga and 3 UEFA Champions’ League titles for Real Madrid plus 2 European Championships and 1 World Cup for Spain.
Keylor Navas who had a splendid World Cup has reportedly signed for the Real Madrid and that portends more woes for the Spanish number one because that may mean him being a 3rd choice goal keeper for his childhood club in Madrid.
A big player and an international brand like Casillas may be a subject of a move away from his club, but Wenger would know better than to bring in such a big player who may end up on the fringes.
Also, with Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina at the club, one would really doubt if Arsene Wenger would deliberately bring Iker Casillas to Arsenal to continue his bench warming situation at Arsenal.
Doubtful, again, is the speculation that the gaffer would make him number 1 ahead of Szczesny and Ospina.
With Damien Martinez recently promoted to the senior team as 3rd choice, a move for any goal keeper, no matter how highly rated and respected, may not see the light of the day, except Arsene Wenger has something clandestine up his sleeves.
If Arsenal must have 3 goal keepers in the team to prosecute the 2014/2015 football season in England, a realistic expectation on the goal keeping situation at the Emirates, is to have the young goalkeeper Damian Martinez, serve tutelage by being promoted to the senior team for the campaign.
This would be more like the Wenger that is famous for propagating youth development as even Szczesny is a product of such a scenario.