After seeing Vicente Guaita leave Saturday’s game against Watford with a calf strain, it looks as though Crystal Palace have been dealt another goalkeeping blow with Wayne Hennessey suffering a thigh injury in training.
The Welshman replaced Vicente against the Hornets and had a real day to forget in between the Selhurst sticks, letting both of Watford’s only shots on target in to turn a one goal lead into a 2-1 defeat. Whilst there was absolutely nothing Wayne could do about Tom Cleverley’s winner, the visitor’s equaliser was a real clanger from the keeper, seeing him lose track of a ball across the box and end up on the wrong side of the post as Craig Cathcart wheeled away in celebration.
— Dominic Fifield (@domfifield) January 14, 2019
From the stands it felt as though a balloon had been popped, with Palace’s 10 outfield players visibly losing confidence and drive in the immediate aftermath of the leveller but now, it looks as though 39-year-old veteran Julian Speroni may get the nod to face Jurgen Klopp’s table-topping Liverpool up at Anfield this weekend; a bit of luck that the Reds hardly need given the way they’ve approached games on Merseyside since August.
In fairness to the club, it looks as though they’ve worked quickly to plug the gap and are now on the verge of finalising a loan deal (with an end of season option to buy) for 21-year-old Brazilian keeper Perri but with the obvious language barrier, not to mention his lack of first-team experience and a completely new playing style to get to grips with, I’m not sure we can expect him to be thrown into the deep end straightaway.
It’s somewhat typical of Palace’s luck this season that we’ve gone into the January window in desperate need of attacking reinforcements and lost our two first-choice goalkeepers to injury within the space of two days but in truth, the circumstances which have forced our hand may well work in our favour over the long-term should Perri go on to fulfil his obviously huge potential.
Watch this space.