Thibaut Courtois Gets His Move To Real Madrid From Chelsea, But Is He Any Better Than Keylor Navas?
Thibaut Courtois has manufactured his move away from Chelsea and has been unveiled to the Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu this afternoon, as he has signed a six-year deal at the Spanish giants in what is rumoured to be a deal worth £35m.
The Belgian World Cup star, who won the Golden Glove award at the global summer tournament, has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital for months, and when it was reported that he didn't return to pre-season training at Chelsea on Monday morning then the writing was on the wall for the Blues.
And just after lunchtime today the 26-year-old was unveiled by the reigning Champions League winners, and he will now be looking to cement his place as the number one goalkeeper at the club.
But, is the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper an upgrade on Keylor Navas, who held the Real Madrid number one spot last season? The statistics suggest he most certainly isn't.
Here at The Sportsman we have jostled our statisticians into overdrive, and looked through last season's statistics, and in some areas Navas eclipses his new adversary for the goalkeeping jersey.
Courtois played 35 of Chelsea's 38 Premier League matches last season, and in that time kept 15 clean sheets, while Navas only featured in 25 domestic league games last season, and only kept six clean sheets. The Belgian stopper conceded 31 goals to Navas 29, so another tick for Courtois, but then the tide turns somewhat in favour of the Costa Rican goalkeeper Navas.
With ten more games Courtois should cruise to victory in the amount of saves made, but he only amassed 76 saves in the Premier League last season, while Navas made 66, and the 31-year-old Navas, who has vowed to challenge Courtois for the goalkeeping shirt, has a much better save ratio to his rival as Navas made 2.36 saves per goal, while Courtois could amass a meagre 2.10 saves per goal.
Much is made of Courtois' ability from crosses in English football, and to be fair it's most certainly one of his assets, but Navas rockets past him in terms of catches per games, as they both made 65 catches in the league last season, so for Navas to equal his nemesis in that area having played ten less games then it shows that Real will certainly need to offer Navas a chance of maintaining the number one spot.
Furthermore, Navas excelled for Real in the Champions League, as he helped them lift their third consecutive crown, and he averaged a sparkling 2.56 saves per goal in that tournament, while Courtois could only managed a poor 1.42 saves per goal. Also, Navas only conceded 10 goals in his nine Champions League appearances for Real last season, while Courtois let in 12 goals in only eight matches.
For many it may look as though Courtois will cruise into the goalkeeping spot at Real Madrid, but the Spanish outfit shouldn't write off Navas, who has shown he can deliver on the big stage.