Not many goalkeepers come away from a 3-0 defeat with the praise of their own fans and their rival’s manager ringing in their ears. But Levante stopper Keylor Navas is not like most ‘keepers.
The 27-year-old Costa Rican has been outstanding between the posts for the La Liga side this season. And that did not change when Levante travelled to the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Navas has recently been linked with a possible move to Everton, and that is no surprise when you consider his highlights package against the La Liga leaders.
Navas pulled off eight saves against Carlo Ancelotti’s men – more than in any other La Liga game this season.
With his side 1-0 down to an early Cristiano Ronaldo strike, Navas then made a string of impressive stops to ensure his side went in just one goal down at half-time.
Ultimately his heroics proved fruitless, as Marcelo doubled Real’s lead before an own-goal from Nikos Karabelas put the match to bed. But speaking after the match, Ancelotti reserved special praise for Navas.
“We created a lot of chances,” he is quoted as saying by Inside Spanish Football. “Keylor Navas played a fantastic game.”
Last month, Talk Sport reported that Everton manager Roberto Martinez had made enquiries about the ‘keeper, who has two years remaining on his current deal.
The story included quotes from Levante’s sporting director Manolo Salvador who reportedly told Cadena Cope, “We will take time with the renewal of Keylor, and for our part we are there. We want (him) to continue for more seasons, but we know that it will not be easy.”
Considering Navas has a release-clause of £8.2million, it will not be easy at all; certainly not if he continues performing as he did against Real at the weekend.
It may just be up to Martinez to decide if it will soon be time to replace the 35-year-old Tim Howard with a player who is making considerable waves in Spain.
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