Last season, one that promised much for Leicester, ended with the club not even managing to bag a play-off place and so, perhaps inevitably, the squad is being circled by Premier League vultures. Various reports have linked Kasper Schmeichel with a move to Tottenham, amongst others, but yesterday it was somewhat sensationally revealed to be a target for Real Madrid. Can he live up to such extraordinary hype?
Schmeichel was one of the few real positives for Leicester last season as well as being one of the few signings made by Sven-Goran Eriksson last summer to justify the outlay on them. He has arguably been Leicester's best and most consistent player since he arrived (although to be fair he hasn’t had a huge amount of competition).
He has been one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the Championship and the Foxes would be in a considerably worse position without him (it’s hard to think of many goals for which the keeper could be blamed). City’s owners would be sending out a strange message if, having splashed so much cash last season, they let one of their best players leave –especially for a low transfer fee. The price quoted also seems somewhat low, especially for a club of Real Madrid's spending power, but if Real Madrid stump the cash, what exactly will they get for their money?
Schmeichel has been one of the few real positives for Leicester this season.
He has excellent reactions. He made a miraculous save to deny Portsmouth’s Dave Kitson last November. It moved both his own manger (by that time Nigel Pearson) and Pompey’s Michael Appleton to describe it as one of the best he’d ever seen. Schmeichel made a similarly excellent save against Hull in December when Andy Dawson seemed certain to have scored and likewise he was superb against then-League leaders Southampton back in August helping Leicester take all three points when The Saints had peppered his goal with shots.
His distribution is excellent. Schmeichel is able to mix it up being just as good at kicking or throwing and he can get the balance between getting the ball to a team mate quickly, while remaining composed and error-free just right.
He also has the vital ingredient all great keepers - Whether it’s bendy-legs Bruce or Kasper’s dad – have: self-confidence. Schmeichel junior dominates his area and isn’t afraid to tell his defenders exactly what he thinks of their performances. Some City fans see this as a fault. I don’t. At the end of the day it’s the man between the sticks who tends to get remembered for the goals conceded, so why shouldn’t he b*llock his defenders if he doesn’t think they’re giving him the protection he needs?
He made a miraculous save to deny Portsmouth’s Dave Kitson in November. It moved both his own manger (by that time Nigel Pearson) and Pompey’s Michael Appleton to describe it as one of the best he’d ever seen.
Schmeichel is – especially for a goalkeeper – still a youngster. At 25 he is the same age as Joe Hart and a year older than Newcastle’s Tim Krul and while none of the three are the finished article there is just a feeling that Schmeichel lacks the level of maturity the other two already have.
His rashness saw him sent off in the derby of the ex-England mangers against Steve McClaren’s Nottingham Forest early last season. In that game, Schemeicel was sent off for two yellow cards in the space of two minutes – the first for disputing a penalty and the second for kicking the ball away after the penalty. Schmeichel claimed on Twitter he hadn’t realised he’d received the first booking but his dismissal helped Forest overturn a 2-0 lead.
If he can find that maturity, there’s no reason why Schmeichel can’t grow into a truly world-class keeper, would a move to Real Madrid benefit him at this stage of his career? I’m not so sure. He might cast envious eyes at the likes of Hart and Krul testing their mettle in the top-flight but a move to Spain won’t guarantee Schmeichel a place in the starting line up for a few years yet.
Actually, forget what I said, he’s crap. Jose, you should look elsewhere Kasper’s not good enough for you…
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