The chance to play for Real Madrid was impossible for Thibaut Courtois to turn down.
That tends to be the case for a lot of players. Real are, after all, one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.
Courtois arrived in the summer, shortly after Los Blancos had made it a hat-trick of European titles. A new era, without Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, was about to begin, but the opportunity remained attractive.
But more than three months on from his £35 million transfer, things aren’t exactly going to plan for the Belgian.
It didn’t take long for Courtois to beat Keylor Navas to become Real’s starting goalkeeper but a new report by Spanish-based journalist Pete Jenson highlights his struggles.
Courtois conceded five goals in Real’s 5-1 defeat to Barcelona last month and, according to Jenson, his old aura seems to be “temporarily absent”.
There’s even a suggestion that Zidane was wrong to block the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga in January.
The report on Courtois
“Any video dedicated to [Courtois’] best stops this season would be a short showreel,” Jenson writes.
“He was excellent in the Madrid derby against his former club Atletico. And he has played his part Real Madrid's last two league wins against Valladolid and Celta Vigo. But overall it's been a difficult start.
“If Courtois' last season at Chelsea was his worst since he became one of the world's top keepers, then his first at Madrid is so far showing only small signs of improvement.
“Some supporters have suggested one of Zinedine Zidane's only errors in the job was to block the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga last January. Madrid could have taken the Athletic Bilbao rookie for €20million.
“Now he's worth €80m, is close to becoming Spain's No 1 ahead of David de Gea, and belongs to Chelsea.
“The arguments for Courtois replacing Navas were that he would bring greater stability and security. Nobody has seen it yet.
“The Barcelona goals in the Clasico were not his mistakes but that old aura seems to be temporarily absent.”
It’s hardly a glowing assessment of the Belgian.
If Courtois hoped that the international break would offer a reprieve, he was very much mistaken.
The 26-year-old conceded five goals for Belgium in a 5-2 defeat to Switzerland on Sunday.News Now - Sport News