Without Thibaut Courtois, who are the contenders to be Belgium’s number one in Germany this summer?

Without Thibaut Courtois, who are the contenders to be Belgium’s number one in Germany this summer?

Belgium head into the Euro’s without the worlds best goalkeeper. Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois has ruled himself out due to injury, although after a clash with head coach Domenico Tedesco, there would have still been question marks around his involvement even if he had been fit. Without the ever reliable Courtois, Tedesco has a number of options to replace him. Four goalkeepers were called up for the recent friendlies, and we decided to have a look at the contenders for the starting spot this summer.

For nearly all of his career, Casteels has had to play second fiddle to Courtois. The 31-year-old Wolfsburg shot stopper has been a Bundesliga regular for well over a decade now, but only has eight caps for Belgium. Given his vast experience of being in and around the national team, many would have predicted that it would be an easy choice for Tedesco to go for Casteels. However, others have put their name in the ring. Despite having been included in the squad for the past two World Cups, the goalkeeper has never made it into the squad for a European championship.

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matz Sels certainly didn’t do his chances any harm after saving a penalty during the recent 0-0 draw with Ireland. The 32-year-old joined the struggling Premier League side in January and has become their number one. Prior to moving to England, Selz has spent the last six years playing for Strasbourg in France. He made around 175 appearances for the side after joining from Newcastle United. Like Casteels, the brilliance of Courtois has restricted him to just seven caps. His display against Ireland will certainly give him confidence that, if he can end the season well with Forest, he is in with a chance of being the sides starting goalkeeper in Germany.

Another Belgian goalkeeper playing for a struggling Premier League side, Kaminski joined Luton Town from Blackburn in the summer. The former Gent goalkeeper has kept two clean sheets this season and came on with under 10 minutes to go during the friendly with Ireland. Remarkably, at the age of 31 those final few minutes were the first that the goalkeeper had gotten for Belgium. It appears that Tedesco is unlikely to trust Kaminski without much time to give him more chances before the competition starts.

The youngest goalkeeper in the recent squad, Arnaud Bodart has been included on a regular basis under Tedesco. The 26-year-old Standard Liege shot stopper has had a decent season for the struggling Liege side and there are rumours linking him with moves to other European clubs in the summer. Being included in the national team will certainly help raise his profile, although it is unlikely that he can get ahead of the other three in the pecking order. Bodart is still awaiting his first appearance for the Red Devils.

Many Belgian fans would much prefer to see Courtios in the squad than having to choose another goalkeeper. However, it appears that the decision will be between Sels and Casteels barring any injuries.

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