Areola eager to follow in Casillas' footsteps at Real Madrid

By Sports Desk September 13, 2019

Alphonse Areola is intent on making the most of his opportunity at Real Madrid as he looks to emulate his goalkeeping idol Iker Casillas.

France international Areola is on a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain to Madrid, with Keylor Navas heading in the opposite direction.

The 26-year-old is likely to back up Thibaut Courtois, who has started in Madrid's opening three LaLiga outings.

Areola acknowledged it will be a tough task to oust the Belgian as number one yet revealed the chance to join Madrid was too good to turn down, citing Los Blancos' iconic former goalkeeper Casillas as an influence on his decision.

"I have spoken to my friends and family about what it means to be number one in this side," Areola told a news conference when asked about following in Casillas' footsteps.

"Casillas was one of my idols when I was young in France, he made me want to play in goal. In fact, I've got a shirt of his from when I was young. 

"I think it's good to try and take on this responsibility to be number one and try and prove I can be number one.

"It's true, I only have one year on loan here, but I've seen the stadium, the history here and I'm going to do as much as I possibly can. 

"Of course, there's a hierarchy already but as soon as I get the chance I'm going to try and show the level I've got. 

"It was a good opportunity to come to the biggest club in the world and take advantage of that, to improve as a player and discover a new opportunity. It's a great opportunity for me."

Areola added another deciding factor in his transfer was Zinedine Zidane, with the goalkeeper honoured to be playing under a France legend.

"It is true I am coming to a club that is coached by a legend," he said. "It is an honour for me to be here with Zidane, to play under him, and I am going to do the best I can for him.

"He's given me a great welcome. My objective is to give everything I can every day in training, be ready for every game. When I have a chance to show my level, show how good I can be, I have to be strong and show what I am worth."

Areola is set to be in Zidane's squad for Saturday's meeting with Levante, before Madrid travel to Paris for a Champions League clash with his former club.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: De Gea & Pogba out of Man United v Liverpool BREAKING NEWS: De Gea & Pogba out of Man United v Liverpool
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed David de Gea and Paul Pogba will miss Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
  • Everton midfielder Gbamin out for three more months after injury setback Everton midfielder Gbamin out for three more months after injury setback

    Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin is facing a further three months on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his right thigh, the Premier League club have announced.

    The 24-year-old sustained a tendon injury in August and has featured just twice for Everton since joining from Bundesliga club Mainz.

    Gbamin resumed light training earlier this month but suffered a setback on his return from injury and was operated on in France on Tuesday.

    A statement on Everton's official website read: "Everton Football Club can confirm that Jean-Philippe Gbamin has undergone surgery on a tendon injury in his right quadriceps muscle, which will keep the midfielder out of action for around three months."

    Gbamin, signed as a reported £25million replacement for Idrissa Gueye, will continue his rehabilitation with Everton's medical staff at the Finch Farm training base.

    Marco Silva's side are 18th in the Premier League following just two wins in their opening eight matches.

  • Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Elneny, says agent Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Elneny, says agent

    Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal during the transfer window, according to the midfielder's agent.

    Elneny swapped Arsenal for Besiktas on a season-long loan in August after falling down the midfield pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

    The Egypt international was also said to be wanted by other clubs, while reports in Italy this week suggested AC Milan may make an approach in the January window.

    "He received a lot of offers last summer, led by Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia, but Besiktas managed to settle the deal with Arsenal," agent Alan Nazmy told Egyptian TV channel Time Sport.

    "Milan and Roma previously tried to sign the player during the last winter transfer window, but the negotiations didn't work then, and he received more than one offer as well."

    Asked about fresh rumoured interest from Milan, Nazmy said: "I can't talk about it."

    Elneny made 89 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions after joining from Swiss side FC Basel in 2016, including 17 outings last season.

    Arsenal boss Unai Emery allowed the 27-year-old to leave following the arrival of Dani Ceballos and emergence of academy product Joe Willock, but the door has not been closed on a return next year.

    "Emery didn't ask for his departure from Arsenal because of his performance," Nazmy said. "He demanded that [Elneny] took a chance to develop his performance and return again.

    "It is possible for him to play with Arsenal again. It still remains a strong possibility."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.