Despite a loan deal for Brazilian goalkeeper Lucas Perri looking likely to be completed over the next 24 hours, a report in London News Online suggests that Roy Hodgson will keep faith with Julian Speroni in goal against Tottenham in the FA Cup Fourth Round this weekend.
The 39-year-old was thrown in up at Anfield last Saturday following injuries to both Vicente Guaita and Wayne Hennessey in the week beforehand and despite a rather glaring error from the Argentine for the Reds’ third goal, it seems as though the boss is happy to keep the faith with the Palace veteran over the prospect of putting Perri in between the sticks against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
When speaking about the terms of the deal recently, Hodgson suggested that the timing of the loan had next to nothing to do with the injuries sustained by Guaita and Hennessey, with the club having been keen to take a close look at Perri for some time already following scouting done by Dougie Freedman over in Brazil. Obviously, Perri is set to jump above Joe Tupper, the Palace U23 keeper who acted as a back-up to Julian Speroni in Merseyside but talk of him being given a starting berth is for now, off the table in the boss’ mind.
Who knows? Lucas might arrive at the training ground and wow coaches immediately but the caution in the manager’s words is probably wise until he knows exactly what he’s dealing with. Whilst there is believed to be no issue with the language from Perri’s point of view, it goes without saying that both the style and pace of play are very different from what he is used to and with that in mind, a watching brief might be better for now.
It may not be a particularly exciting answer but Roy Hodgson’s Palace tenure has been an exercise in pragmatism from the start and with more than 40 years experience, he’s unlikely to change his spots thanks to the arrival of a young Brazilian keeper.