Less than a week before the January transfer window closes, Real Madrid have lost no time in securing a top-class replacement for Casillas.
Two days after he had been substituted in the opening minutes of the match Madrid drew with Valencia, the Real Madrid captain underwent surgery on his left hand (via Reuters).
The accidental kick he received from his teammate Alvaro Arbeloa could prove to have heavy consequences for the Merengues’ season. After the operation, the doctor broke the bad news: “It would be a success for Casillas to play again in less than three months” (via Marca).
Lopez will compete with Antonio Adán in Madrid’s next few games, which figures to be an upcoming string of key matches for Los Blancos. Casillas, having officially been ruled out for at least two months, Lopez or Adan will have to cover for him in the two-legged ties against Barcelona in the King’s Cup and Manchester United in the Champions League.
Is Diego López the right option to replace Casillas in the short term?
Diego Lopez will rejoin the club where he grew as a youth player from 2000 to 2005. After just two appearances for Madrid’s senior team between 2005 and 2007, he left to try his luck at Villareal. After his first season at the Yellow Submarine, he won his spot as first-choice keeper.
However, Villareal dropped out of the Spanish first division in 2012 and moved to Sevilla for a reported €3.5 million (via AS). Despite López’s torrid time last season at Villareal, where he shipped 50 goals, he was still considered a reliable option and one of the top stoppers in Spain.
At Sevilla, he was once against considered a backup option, this time to top goalkeeper Andrés Palop.
López still received a call-up to the Spanish national team for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and was part of the provisional squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup where he was an unused substitute.
He made his on-the-pitch debut for Spain in a friendly against Macedonia, where he replaced Pepe Reina and kept a clean sheet for the 30 minutes he was on the pitch.
His transfer to Madrid will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge yet in his career.
With the King's Cup and the Champions League realistically being the only competitions Madrid are still playing for this season, López has been handed the opportunity to become an instant hero.