Real Madrid have secured the signature of Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican, who was a star of the 2014 World Cup, has signed a six-year deal with the 10-time European Cup winners. It is thought that Real Madrid paid £7.9million to activate Navas’ release clause.
Real Madrid’s website posted on Sunday: “Real Madrid CF and Levante UD have reached an agreement over the transfer of Keylor Navas, who will be tied to the club for the next six seasons.”
It is not certain whether he will start, but with Iker Casillas in such poor form as of late, he’s in with an excellent chance of becoming Real Madrid’s starting goalkeeper. The fans have made it clear they want him to, with almost 83% sating ‘yes’ when asked whether Navas should be the starting goalkeeper at the club next season.
Speaking after the transfer, Navas stated, “Becoming the starter is complicated, I will work at Real Madrid with humility.
“God does not put things before you that you cannot overcome.
“A six-year contract gives me peace of mind. I’ll learn a lot from all the players. It’s a great opportunity that I want to make the most of.”
The 27-year-old was arguably the league’s second best goalkeeper behind Thibaut Courtois as he helped Levante to a comfortable midtable finish. He was impressive against the bigger sides, putting in an excellent display at the Santiago Bernabeu despite a 3-0 defeat.
Navas is a late developer in footballing terms but he’s still got time on his side as a goalkeeper. He didn’t make his La Liga debut until May of 2012 when he appeared in a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao to secure a place in the Europa League.
Before Navas was with Levante, he played his football with Albacete in the Segunda Division and even earlier for Saprissa, where he won several Costa Rican league titles.
He has played for Costa Rica since 2008, earning 58 caps for Los Ticos. During his time with the national team, he has appeared in two CONCACAF Gold Cups and one World Cup.
Perhaps one question regarding Navas is his lack of Champions League experience, but given that Ancelotti opted for a different goalkeeper in the competition last season, he may not even make an appearance in the tournament.
Even still, his performances in the World Cup proved he can deal with the pressure of big matches; the game against Netherlands in the quarterfinals exemplified that. Navas was the man of the match as he made a number of saves to keep Costa Rica in the game before the penalty shootout.
Another questions is how Keylor Navas will deal with having to challenge for a starting role. At Levante and with Costa Rica, there’s not much competition for him, but at Madrid there are already two excellent goalkeepers who can start in games.