Andriy Lunin‘s inclusion in the list of 20 Golden Boy finalists came as something of a surprise.
In the last 15 months he has only played seven times for his club, and those games came last season when he was on loan from Real Madrid at Leganes. This season, on loan at Valladolid, he hasn’t yet been released.
The Ukrainian’s situation has become a massive headache in the offices at Valdebebas and Real Madrid are somewhere between concerned and angry at the situation he finds himself in.
Lunin, 20, has had his share of bad luck and his story represents that of so many young players trying to make the step up to elite professional football but lacking in opportunities. Neither Mauricio Pellegrino nor Sergio Gonzalez nor Zinedine Zidane have given him the minutes he needs.
Real Madrid feel let down by Ronaldo Nazario, who had promised that Lunin would be given a lot of chances at Valladolid, but it seems as though he didn’t consult with his coach before the signing.
“Unless something extraordinary happens, Lunin must wait for the cup to debut,” said Gonzalez.
Something extraordinary did happen at the Under-20 World Cup this summer though. Ukraine were proclaimed champions for the first time ever and Lunin was fundamental, which is the reason for his inclusion in the Golden Boy finalists.
Lunin signed for Valladolid on August 14. Three weeks later Keylor Navas moved to Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid had to seek an emergency solution in Alphonse Areola.
“Nobody knew Navas was going to leave,” Lunin said recently, explaining that he would have had more of a chance to play.
But he’s wrong. Zidane doesn’t trust him. He’s too young.