Crystal Palace fans are no doubt aware that the club have signed a pre-contract agreement with Getafe number one Vicente Guaita but over the last week, a long-standing injury that the Spaniard has been dealing with has reared its head once again.
The 31-year-old was fully expected to take up residence in between the sticks for Getafe’s midweek home game against Deportivo La Caruña but was forced to pull out of the starting XI during the warm-up after complaining about a feeling of discomfort in his hand.
Whilst Vicente’s absence didn’t have a big impact on his team’s prospects that night, (they ran out extremely comfortable 3-0 winners) his continued presence on the sidelines left Getafe boss Pepe Bordalas with no option other than to start Emiliano Martinez for the second time in a matter of days away to Real Madrid on Saturday evening, resulting in a 3-1 defeat thanks to a goal from Gareth Bale and a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Whilst Guaita has appeared regularly this season, the fact that a hand he had operated on last term is continuing to cause him problems will be sending alarm bells ringing in the minds of those behind the scenes at Selhurst Park.
After the issues we had with Frenchman Steve Mandanda throughout the 2016-17 season, it would be typical to bring in a new keeper who spends prolonged periods on the sidelines throughout the the 2018-19 season too.
Right now, there remains a degree of uncertainty over whether or not a clause exists in Guaita’s Palace agreement allowing him to turn down a switch if we do indeed lose our place in the top flight but with no guarantees either way, it’s best to assume that he will be joining us over the summer regardless of our success or failure between now and May.
I dare say some will raise questions over how good a prospect Guaita is but after conceding just 20 goals in 23 appearances since August with a whopping eight clean sheets to his name, I don’t think there can be any debate over the fact that he represents a genuine upgrade on the keepers we currently have at our disposal in SE25.