No, your eyes do not deceive you, that really is a picture of Julian Speroni back in first-team training with Crystal Palace taken earlier this week; a sight which means that Roy Hodgson now has three first-team goalkeepers at his disposal for the first time since he arrived back in September.
👀 Hello you legend.
— Cabaye Loves Hugs (@CabayeLovesHugs) March 14, 2018
The Argentine stopper has been out of action for a little under six weeks having first been ruled out of contention for a place in the side when we took on Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United at Selhurst Park back in February but now he’s back and seemingly close to offering competition to Wayne Hennessey for a starting role ahead of what is sure to be a nail-biting climax to the 2017/18 season.
In the interim, the club have brought in Brazilian veteran Diego Cavalieri, whose role within the squad is now uncertain. Whilst he does of course have pedigree at both international and domestic level, we can’t be sure as to where Roy Hodgson will place him in the pecking order when all three keepers are fit and raring to go.
Previous match-day squads point towards Speroni taking up residence on the bench with Hennessey retaining the number one spot but I for one wouldn’t be against the idea of putting Speroni back in or giving Cavalieri a chance to impress in the not too distant future in place of the Welshman. I dare say a few of you will feel as though I’m rocking the boat unnecessarily but I lost true confidence in Hennessey as our first-choice keeper a few months ago and would like to see one of other two men available for selection given ownership of the role between now and May.
Of course, should there be no major bumps in the road, we can expect to see Getafe number one Vicente Guaita making the switch to Selhurst Park over the summer but in the here and now, we’re forced to work with what we have and from a personal perspective, I’d be lying if I said that I was fully behind the idea of Hennessey retaining his place between the sticks for the remainder of the campaign.
One thing’s for sure, after the panic that spread when we were forced to name Dion-Curtis Henry on the bench as Hennessey’s back-up, we now find ourselves on solid ground once more.
Let’s hope the man who is given the nod by Roy over the next eight games does themselves and the shirt they’re wearing justice.