Crystal Palace may have another year in the Premier League to look forward to, however, the Eagles are going to have to make some significant additions to their squad this summer if they are to remain competitive and build on this season.
One area that Roy Hodgson should look to improve is his goalkeeping department as it has been a position that has caused some concern at times throughout the campaign.
As everyone knows, loyal servant Julian Speroni is no longer with the club after seeing his contract come to an end (Daily Mail), leaving the club with Wayne Hennessey and Vicente Guaita. However, it has to be said that neither of those men leave fans in the Selhurst Park stands with confidence in their abilities.
Both shot-stoppers have made costly errors and have put in some questionable performances during their time at the south London outfit.
It will have come as no surprise that Crystal Palace have been linked with a new number one this summer and he is a player Hodgson must bring to the club.
According to a report by The Sun, Nice’s Walter Benitez has caught the eye of the Eagles (as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United).
And, when you take his stats into account, it is hardly a surprise as to why the Argentine has Premier League interest in him.
The 26-year-old has become one of the best goalkeepers currently playing in Europe and has a better save-to-shot ratio than some of the other names in the continent, having made 110 saves from 136 shots on target (approx. 80%); Jan Oblak, Peter Gulacsi and Alisson – eat your hearts out.
Having started as Patrick Vieira’s number two, Benitez took over the starting role back in August and has not looked back, earning himself the nickname of The Wall in the process.
A commanding presence, the Argentine has proved he is an excellent shot-stopper and is more than comfortable coming for the ball. Hennessey and Guaita have not exactly covered themselves in glory in that department.
Crystal Palace (and, unfortunately, their rivals) may have been handed a boost in their pursuit of the South American as he has admitted in the past that he would like to play in the Premier League as he feels it would boost his chances of being called up to the national team.
He told SunSport: “I worked very hard and I would love to be at the Copa America but it is the coach’s decision. I like the Premier League. It’s a very important league and I would like to play there one day. I don’t think that moving to England is the only way for me to be in the Argentinian team because the main thing is my performances. But to play in the Premier League would probably be good for my chances in the national team. I have recently signed with Wasserman football agency, so I feel like my career is heading in the right direction.”
With that in mind, Hodgson must take advantage of Benitez’s desires and ensure they bring him to Selhurst Park as the Eagles simply cannot afford to miss out on him this summer.
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