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'He suffers with De Gea syndrome' - Belgium coach on Courtois

The Blancos ‘keeper was taken off at half-time in a 2-2 draw with Club Brugge on Tuesday, but Erwin Lemmens expects him to bounce back.

 Thibaut Courtois (file pic).
Thibaut Courtois (file pic).

REAL MADRID MUST treat Thibaut Courtois differently to get the best out of him, according to Belgium goalkeeper coach Erwin Lemmens.

Courtois was substituted at half-time in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw against Club Brugge, with Madrid 2-0 down at the time.

The 27-year-old was arguably at fault for Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis’ ninth-minute opener and was again beaten by the Brugge striker later in the half.

Courtois’ early withdrawal was put down to illness by boss Zinedine Zidane, but Lemmens has accused Madrid of failing to get the most out of a player that previously impressed for Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

Comparing his compatriot’s woes at the Santiago Bernabeu to David de Gea’s slump in form with Manchester United, Lemmens told Marca: “They have to treat him differently.

He’s a special boy and it’s unusual that he’s always at the highest level with Belgium, but there he suffers with De Gea syndrome.

“If the Bernabeu whistles then you have to look at the team as a whole.

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“He’s a great goalkeeper and he’ll try to make Real Madrid happy again.”

Courtois’ Belgium international team-mate Eden Hazard has also made a slow start to life at Madrid following a big-money switch from Chelsea.

Hazard has yet to score or assist in five outings for his new club, but Lemmens has urged Madrid supporters to remain patient.

“Hazard needs time,” he said. “But Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world and it’s normal for them to want players to play well as soon as they arrive.”

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