‘He is ready for it’: Raphael Varane backs Alphonse Areola to challenge Thibaut Courtois for No 1 shirt at Real Madrid after joining on loan
- Alphonse Areola joined Real Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer
- But France keeper is still only a back-up option to No 1 Thibaut Courtois
- France boss Didier Deschamps fears lack of football will hinder his progress
- But compatriot and Madrid defender Raphael Varane backs Areola to settle
Raphael Varane believes Thibaut Courtois faces a big challenge from Alphonse Areola to keep hold of the No 1 jersey at Real Madrid.
The France keeper arrived at the Bernabeu in the summer on loan from Paris Saint-Germain with Keylor Navas heading in the opposite direction.
France manager Didier Deschamps fears Areola’s lack of game time could hinder his performances with the national side, but Varane claims his compatriot at the Beranbeu can settle and become a big part of the squad.
Alohonse Areola joined Real Madrid from PSG and still remains part of the France set-up
‘We have been able to talk a little bit, of course,’ Varane said in a press conference. ‘He is happy to come to Madrid.
‘He will be very well received. Anything can happen in football, and we’ll see if he will be able to play regularly in Madrid.
‘I know his qualities. He has cards to play and I hope for him that he is going to have a good season. He is ready for it.
Raphael Varane has backed his France team-mate to be a success at the Bernabeu
‘He has confidence in his ability, and we will help him settle in.’
Areola is still second choice for his national side behind skipper and Tottenham Hotspur keeper Hugo Lloris.
But he has impressed between the sticks after alternating with Gianluigi Buffon last term at the Parc des Princes.
The 26-year old has three caps for his country the most recent being in a June friendly with Bolivia.
Thibaut Courtois remains No 1 at Madrid but can expect pressure from Areola