Being Thibaut Courtois’ backup is not easy. Andriy Lunin, who joined Real Madrid from Zorya Lugansk the same summer Courtois did, understands this well.
Since then, Lunin has had multiple loan periods, but he only played twice for Real Valladolid and seven times for Leganés.
He appeared in at least 20 games for Real Oviedo in Spain’s second division in the second half of 2019/20.
The Ukrainian has been Real Madrid’s number two since the summer of 2020, and he has only appeared on the pitch once, in a 2-1 Copa del Rey defeat to third-tier Alcoyano on January 20th of this year. Lunin hasn’t had a chance in 298 days, despite Carlo Ancelotti clearly liking him.
It’s extremely difficult to bench a top-tier goalkeeper like Courtois, especially now that there are no easy games in LaLiga Santander. This means that Lunin may need to try again for a loan if he is to demonstrate his abilities. If the 22-year-old does leave in January, MARCA has identified three clubs that have expressed an interest.
Number 3: Granada
Granada, who has had a difficult start to the season and has a question mark at the goalkeeper after the summer departure of Rui Silva, is one of the clubs that could be interested in acquiring Lunin on loan.
Although Luis Maximiano was brought in for €4.5 million, he has yet to fully convince, which could give Lunin a chance to win the job.
Number 2: Espanyol
Another Spanish club, Espanyol, has been linked with a January move for Lunin. Diego López is their current starter and doing well, but he’s 40 and Lunin might play.
Number 1: Lille
Lille is another club said to be interested in Lunin. The French champions lost title-winning goalkeeper Mike Maignan in the summer and replaced him with Atlético Madrid loanee Ivo Grbic. Lille reportedly wants to sign a Real Madrid backup goalkeeper.
If Lunin does go on loan this January, he and Real Madrid must make the right decision. He’s already had two loan spells where he was almost as much of a backup as he is now. Perhaps the best option is to wait and see if a club’s starter is lost due to a transfer or injury. Because Lunin needs to play, and he needs to play soon.