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Carlo Ancelotti confirms surprise Kepa Arrizabalaga decision after Andriy Lunin heroics

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he is planning to reinstate Kepa Arrizabalaga to Real Madrid’s starting lineup despite Andriy Lunin’s impressive recent form.

Kepa was signed on loan from Chelsea during the summer to replace the injured Thibaut Courtois, with Lunin relegated to third-choice stopper after several seasons as the primary cover for the Belgian.

However, a muscle injury has forced Kepa on to the sidelines in recent weeks and given Lunin the chance to impress – an opportunity he took in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Cadiz.

Now with four La Liga outings to his name, Lunin has recorded an outstanding 88% save percentage, besting Kepa’s 76% from ten games.

Unfortunately for Lunin, it appears he has not yet won over Ancelotti, who confirmed after the Cadiz game that Kepa will immediately return to the starting lineup once he is fit enough to do so.

“I think Kepa will return against Granada,” Ancelotti said. “If he is healthy, he will play.”

Andriy Lunin

Lunin has struggled for minutes / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Lunin’s current Madrid contract runs until the end of the season, at which point the 24-year-old faces an enormous decision on his future after several years on the sidelines for Madrid.

Since his move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2018, Lunin has played just 22 times for Madrid, with a further 29 outings coming across loan spells with Real Oviedo, Leganes and Real Valladolid. Courtois, who joined in the same transfer window, has 230 appearances to his name.

His partner recently hinted that Lunin is prepared to leave Madrid in search of regular minutes, perhaps at the end of the season when his current deal expires.

Madrid also face a decision on the future of Kepa, whose loan from Chelsea does not include the option for a future transfer. The 29-year-old has publicly made it clear he hopes to stay and Chelsea are keen to cut ties permanently.


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