Good news for Keylor Navas, the forgotten man in summer transfer saga

santiago-bernabeu

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It is safe to say that the summer of 2015 has hardly been loaded with good news for Keylor Navas.

In stark contrast to the off-season he enjoyed 12 months ago, the last few weeks have been something of a drag for the Costa Rica international.

This time last year, Navas was helping his country to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

As a key cog in that machine, and having shown himself to be a more than capable last line of defence in La Liga at Levante, the 28-year-old saw his services snapped up by Real Madrid as they triggered a €10 million release clause and handed him a six-year contract.

Navas has been around long enough to have made that switch with his eyes open, with the mere presence of club icon Iker Casillas at Santiago Bernabeu suggesting that his competitive game time would be limited.

It is difficult to ignore Los Blancos when they come calling, though, with few given the opportunity to tread such as prestigious path.

A debut campaign in the Spanish capital was, however, to prove as testing as many predicted.

Navas found himself restricted to just 540 minutes of action in La Liga, while he also remained firmly rooted to the bench as Real toasted UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup success.

He will have likely reached the end of the campaign looking forward to a welcome break with his national side, with Costa Rica among those to take in post-season friendlies.

Lady Luck has not been smiling on Navas, though, and an unfortunate Achilles injury picked up against Spain put paid to his hopes of figuring as prominently as he would have liked.

Forced back onto the treatment table in Madrid, the affable shot-stopper has now seen speculation intensify regarding possible comings and goings in his position.

He himself has been linked with a possible departure, with Atletico Madrid reported to be monitoring his situation, but it is the Casillas-David de Gea saga that has dominated the headlines and continues to spark intense debate.

Navas’ situation, it would appear, is unlikely to improve any time soon on the playing side of things, with there seemingly little chance that he will be entrusted with the responsibility of helping to upset La Liga betting markets and wrestle the top-flight crown away from arch-rivals Barcelona.

Were Casillas to leave, the door would be opened slightly, but such a switch is likely to be driven by the arrival of De Gea – a man still only 24 years of age – from Premier League giants Manchester United.

As mentioned previously, this has not been the kindest of summers for Navas when fitness and transfer matters are taken into account.

He has, however, been boosted by the news that he will not require surgery on his damaged Achilles tendon.

An operation had been mooted, by Costa Rica coach Paulo Wanchope, but Navas has confirmed that a period of rest and careful monitoring by the Real Madrid medical staff should return him to full working order without the need to go under the knife.

This is hardly spectacular news for a man seeing his patience pushed to breaking point, but it is at least light at the end of the tunnel.

24

06 2015
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