Crystal Palace had the worst possible start to the season. After the first seven-game weeks, the team was sitting on zero points having lost all seven matches. It eventually led to the sacking of manager Frank De Boer and the Dutchman was replaced by Roy Hodson. The change did not have an immediate effect but the big turnaround came with a win against champions Chelsea.
Five wins and seven draws in the league under Hodgson has considerably improved the club and they are now 14th in the league having collected 22 points from 22 games. The Palace players who had been inconsistent and unimpressive, to say the least, are showing signs of hard work and churning out decent performances. As was proven with his return, missing Christian Benteke was not the only reason for the club suffering this season as even after his comeback; the Belgian has not been able to replicate his old form.
Their midfield leaders Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur had been poor and been unable to link up well with the fast attackers like Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. In defence, the club has conceded 33 goals in 22 games averaging at 1.5 goals conceded per match.
Scott Dann, an integral member of the Crystal Palace team has suffered a serious injury and is possibly facing a nightmare situation of spending the rest of the season on the sidelines. To further complicate matters, his defensive partner, Mamadou Sakho, Crystal Palace’s expensive £26 million summer signing from Liverpool also faces time on the sidelines. However, Sakho’s calf strain injury is not that serious and the ex-Liverpool man is expected to return soon.
Hodgson who had previously claimed that defensive signing was not his priority might have changed his stance following the latest injuries.
Moreover, with his first choice goalkeeper Julian Speroni reaching retirement age and Wayne Hennessey, the Welsh international, only a backup option at Crystal Palace, Hodgson will be looking to add another keeper to his squad.
It is this scenario that the signing of Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita has become a matter of great interest to Hodgson. The 31-year-old Spaniard has played 18 games for Getafe this season keeping 5 clean sheets and conceding 18 goals, an average of 1 goal per game. The stat definitely shows that Palace will be getting an upgrade in Guaita and with the player’s contract running out in the summer; he could be available for a fee as low as £4m. However, with Palace needing defensive reinforcements, a keeper will not be Hodgson’s top priority and Palace could end up losing out on the player.
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