The 20-year-old has impressed in the World Cup, making crucial and difficult saves throughout the tournament, most importantly in the final to keep the South Koreans at bay. For his heroic efforts, Lunin deservedly won the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper in the tournament.
Here are four things to know about Real Madrid’s young keeper.
Full Ukranian International
The Real Madrid stopper has featured three times already for Ukraine’s senior side, with his appearances in coming in 2018 in friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Albania and Turkey.
He conceded just two goals in those three fixtures but he was not able to showcase his class as he had limited action in those games.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Andriy Pyatov is currently Ukraine’s number one but he is 34 years old, giving Lunin the chance to take the coveted spot of being first choice for his country in the near future. Therefore, it is not unexpected that Lunin will start to win more caps sooner rather than later and establish himself as Ukraine’s best goalkeeper for the next decade.
At 6’3″, the 20-year-old is nearly as tall as Manuel Neuer and David de Gea, which bodes well for him in the future as he will continue to grow. His game is similar to that of Neuer as well with his main strengths being his distribution and reflexes.
Throughout the U20 World Cup he showed that he can make difficult saves at important moments, as well as his ability to read and control high balls into his area. This lifted some pressure off of the defence and helped them to ultimately win the tournament.
Lunin does have a knack for losing concentration but that will be improved with more minutes and experience at the highest level. He has shown the potential is there and is tipped to become one of the best keepers in his generation alongside Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and France’s Alban Lafont.
Set to Remain on Loan at CD Leganés
Los Merengues have huge depth in the goalkeeper position with Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Luca Zidane all in the first team squad. This meant that Lunin had to leave on loan to Leganés to secure more playing time.
However, he was unable to displace first choice goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar and only played seven games in all competitions. Despite limited minutes, the Ukrainian kept an impressive tally of three clean sheets for a side that spent much of the season in the lower half of the table.
Real are set to have agreed to extend Lunin’s loan until the end of next season as Cuellar is most likely on his way out, plus the fact that Leganes boss Mauricio Pellegrino is said to be a big fan of Lunin.
Ambiguous Future at Real Madrid
Despite his huge potential, he is yet to make an appearance for Los Blancos since he signed from Zorya Luhansk for an initial €8.5m with €5m in add-ons on June 2018.
Florentino Pérez and the Madrid board reportedly view Lunin as the back-up goalkeeper to Courtois, however Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane prefers Navas and his son Luca over Lunin.
However, Navas is reportedly on his way out, which could leave an opening for the Ukrainian but in order to progress, he requires more minutes. With21-year-old Luca Zidane on the books, Real Madrid will have to make a decision on who they would like to keep to be the number two keeper. Zidane would make a strong case to keep his son at the club and will have a major influence on the final say, leaving Lunin’s future at the club in limbo.