Young Real Madrid goalkeeper Alexandro Craninx Joostens has revealed that he was given advice on where to move by Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois, but he couldn’t take it.
As relayed by talkSPORT, citing Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Joostens, who was a highly-sought after commodity before opting to continue his development in the Spanish capital with Los Blancos, revealed that Courtois had tried to make him choose eternal rivals Atletico Madrid.
The 19-year-old has already had comparisons made between himself and Courtois, who shot to stardom at the Vicente Calderon stadium during his three-year loan spell there. Now first-choice for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who currently sit atop of the Premier League, Courtois’ call to Joostens certainly came as quite a surprise.
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"I found it very special that he called me," Joosten reportedly said.
"But I had already made up my mind because by then I had signed a contract with Real Madrid."
He may well live to regret the decision, what with Courtois blazing the trail for young goalkeepers hoping to make it at a big club. Diego Simeone clearly has no issue with fielding inexperienced men between the sticks if he thinks they’re good enough, and it makes sense to assume opportunities in the first-team might have been more forthcoming at Atletico than they will be at Real.
That said Carlo Ancelotti has a tough decision to make come the end of the season regarding who he wants as his No.1 moving forward. The days where Iker Casillas was considered the obvious option are over thanks to months of inconsistency, but backup option Keylor Navas - purchased after an impressive World Cup with Costa Rica - hasn’t been afforded a regular first-team berth either.
Now, with Real looking to solidify their position as the most dominant club team in world football once more, there could be a degree of fine tuning that goes on at the end of the season, and if Casillas leaves for pastures new a new goalkeeper could well be handed a chance at the highest level.
Of course any burgeoning stopper dreaming of becoming No.1 at the Santiago Bernabeu - Joostens included - will be brought to an awakening realisation if Real can secure the signing of Manchester United star David de Gea, as many assume they will try to do. At the moment the Spain international is arguably the most important player in Louis van Gaal’s squad but unless the Red Devils can secure Champions League football for next year he might turn his back on Old Trafford.
If he does that, and Madrid then becomes his next destination, Joostens may well be forced to look elsewhere for his shot at the big time. Maybe Courtois wasn’t wrong after all.
Football fans, do you think he should have opted for Atletico as opposed to Real? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...