It’s been on the cards for a while now but late last week, Crystal Palace finally announced the arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri with a deal that will keep him at Selhurst Park until the end of the 2017-18 season.
The veteran has been training with Roy Hodgson’s squad for around a month already but thanks to some minor contractual issues that needed ironing out with his previous employers Fluminese, we’ve been unable to officially bring him into the squad until now.
Whilst supporters would undoubtedly have preferred to see the club secure the services of either Getafe’s Vicente Guaita or Brondby’s Frederick Ronnow over the course of the January transfer window, the chance to bring in someone with Cavalieiri’s pedigree at short notice shouldn’t be looked upon as too much of a downgrade in quality.
Obviously, we shouldn’t expect Diego to provide long-lasting cover for Wayne Hennessey or anyone else who comes in over the summer for that matter but with regular second choice stopper Julian Speroni having been ruled out for a number of weeks with a knee ligament injury, I’m over the moon to have Cavalieiri on our books.
Judging by his first official interview with Chris Grierson, Diego is a laid back and confident operator who will be hopeful of getting some first-team minutes between now and the end of the campaign under the watchful eye of former boss Roy Hodgson. The two worked together at Liverpool and whilst Pepe Reina remained the Reds undisputed number one throughout that spell, the pair clearly made quite an impact on one another, paving the way for this reunion almost a decade later.
It would be ridiculous to expect a great deal from Cavalieri but after being forced to name 20-year-old Dion-Curtis Henry on the bench in our last two Premier League fixtures, the Brazilian’s availability for selection will give the gaffer and his coaching staff a degree of confidence heading into games between now and May.
He may not be here for long but even so, his mere presence has already given me confidence for the games that remain in our season, let’s hope he can still hold his own in between the sticks if he’s called upon in the coming weeks.