It’s being reported in both The Sun and The Daily Mail (so take it with a pinch of salt) that Palace are all set to tie up a deal for veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri on a free transfer in the coming days.
The Eagles have been left without a genuine back-up to Wayne Hennessey following the news that club legend Julian Speroni will be sidelined for around eight weeks with a knee ligament injury, leaving manager Roy Hodgson desperate to secure some cover in case of an emergency.
Whilst a deal has been sorted to bring Getafe keeper Vicente Guaita to Selhurst Park over the summer, the Palace hierarchy were unable to reach an agreement with the Spanish outfit during the January window, leaving Roy with 20-year-old Dion-Curtis Henry as the only alternative to Hennessey against Everton last weekend.
Despite being 35, the 6’2 Cavalieri is well known to Roy, having signed for him when the gaffer was in charge at Liverpool back in 2008. Although he was then given the number one shirt, Diego failed to make a single Premier League appearance for the Reds but did manage to play 10 games in various cup competitions during the two years he spent on their books. It may raise an eyebrow or two but for me, there is no shame in being unable to dislodge a prime Pepe Reina from in between the sticks at Anfield.
After a fruitless six-month stint in Italy with Cesena, Diego returned home to Brazil at the end of 2010 and has been there ever since. Signing for Fluminese, Cavalieri quickly went on to secure a starting spot, playing a pivotal role in the club’s 2012 title win; a run which brought with it a call up to the national side, alongside an award for Best Goalkeeper over the course of the campaign.
Now a free agent, I can certainly see the logic in bringing him in on a short-term basis in case our injury crisis worsens, with his experience sure to count for a lot, should he be called upon. 35 isn’t exactly an ideal age but as Julian Speroni has proved over the years, goalkeepers are capable of operating at a high level well into their fourth decade, with the hope being that Cavalieri continues that trend.
It may not be the perfect deal but it’s one I’m more than happy to see happening given our current predicament.