Will Keylor Navas End Iker Casillas' Real Madrid Career?

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Will Keylor Navas End Iker Casillas' Real Madrid Career?
Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Real Madrid announcing the signing of Keylor Navas from Levante sounds the death knell of either Real No. 1 Diego Lopez or struggling goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Here is a scouting report of Navas, a 27-year-old, 6'0", 172-pound Costa Rican international. 

 

Navas Positives

After an exceptional season for Levante and a FIFA World Cup campaign reminiscent of compatriot Luis Gabelo Conejo, Navas is regarded as one of the pre-eminent shot-stoppers in the world.

Navas accumulated a higher amount of saves, catches and punched clearances per 90 minutes than Lopez and Casillas last season, according to Squawka.

Credit: Squawka.com

Being a game-saver is why Navas can become a crucial component of Real president Florentino Perez's latest Galacticos era.

Almeria substitute Oscar Diaz's scorched shot was saved adroitly by Navas, who ensured Levante held on to a 1-0 victory. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Scrambling across goal, Navas remarkably rebuffed Atletico Madrid's Real Betis loanee Leo Baptistao's sliding shot. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Displaying razor-sharp reflexes, Navas denied close-range headers from Espanyol centre-back Hector Moreno and Granada centre-forward Youssef El-Arabi.

Credit: LigaBBVA.com
Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Quickly rearranging his position in response to a deflection, Navas thwarted Atleti defender Toby Alderweireld's firmly hit shot. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Commitment is a trait inherent in Navas and evident when he clattered into his post after punching away the free-kick of Elche right-back Damian Suarez. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

His penalty-saving ability lends further credence to Navas' status as a world-class goalkeeper.

He came up big to stop then-Barcelona (now New York City FC) centre-forward David Villa, Real Betis centre-forward Jorge Molina and Greek centre-forward Theofanis Gekas from 12 yards out. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com
Credit: LigaBBVA.com
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

 

Navas Negatives

Mistakes precipitated Casillas' downfall and it could be the same scenario for Navas.

Buried beneath the profusion of acrobatic saves, Navas' tendency to make errors is a red flag. 

He crashed into Molina to give away a soft penalty to Betis—which he ended up saving. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com
Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Navas inadvertently kneed Villarreal centre-forward Ikechukwu Uche, which led to a penalty and a red card. 

Credit: LigaBBVA.com
Credit: LigaBBVA.com

A hasty attempt at a clearance enabled Malaga attacking midfielder Francisco Portillo to score.

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

Navas was at fault when he parried the shot of Rayo Vallecano defensive midfielder Adrian into the path of Palermo's Rayo loanee Franco Vazquez.

Credit: LigaBBVA.com

 

Bottom Line

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

There are still unanswered questions over Lopez's future at Real, per Ramon Fuentes at Marca:

The Spanish 'keeper [Lopez] does not want to leave Real Madrid with the way things stand at the moment. ...

According to the initial agreement with the club, the keeper would receive around €7 million before tax (around €3.5 million net) on his departure. However, this may have changed and Real Madrid are now understood to only be willing to offer him a free transfer.

The second reason has to do with his destination. The player's preferred option was Monaco. He would have joined the French club as the first-choice 'keeper. However, the personal terms offered by Monaco did not convince either the player or his agent.

It would be Perez-esque extravagance if he brokered an agreement to keep Navas, Lopez and Casillas.

Real would have two world-class goalkeepers in Navas and Lopez, while Casillas is given a small window to mount a Rocky Balboa-like comeback. 

Navas may not carry a Galacticos-like fee at €10 million (a transfer steal), but he has the ability to transition into a Galacticos-standard goalkeeper, which will inflict additional hardship on Casillas. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored 

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