According to reports across the press in the last day or so, Crystal Palace are set to offer 31-year-old Wayne Hennessey a new deal and whilst plenty within the Eagles faithful have been left annoyed by the news, I can’t help but feel that it’s a sensible move from the club.
Before I go any further, I feel compelled to point out that I don’t see the Welshman as a feasible first-choice option for us heading into the 2018/19 campaign, but with Vicente Guaita seemingly all set to arrive from Getafe over the summer, I can certainly see the logic behind a deal which sees Wayne acting as his understudy for another couple of years.
Sadly for us, Julian Speroni will have just turned 39 when the season draws to a close, whilst Brazilian stopper Diego Cavalieri (already 35 himself) is still yet to kick a ball for Palace since arriving on a short-term deal in the New Year. Given Roy Hodgson’s desire to have three first-team keepers on the books at all times, it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to work out that there will be sizeable changes between the sticks in SE25 over the summer months.
With that in mind, we may well see the Palace hierarchy making a fresh bid for Brondby stopper Frederick Ronnow when the transfer window reopens, paving the way for Hennessey to make up just one third of a new-look goalkeeping cohort ahead of the new campaign.
For all the stick the Welsh number one has endured since becoming Palace’s regular keeper, he has never moaned or complained; a fact which has left me feeling more than a little uncomfortable at the amount of abuse he’s been subjected to.
On a technical level, I can’t pretend I see Hennessey as a goalkeeper worthy of a starting place in a team with ambitions of a place in the top half of the Premier League but as the second or third in command alongside Vicente Guaita and Frederick Ronnow? I can think of far worse alternatives.