Crystal Palace

Who The Hell Is… Julian Speroni?

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni has been forcefully linked with a move to the Premier League recently, specifically to Fulham or West Ham, but who, exactly, is Mr Speroni?

In north Buenos Aires, born and raised, Club Atlético Platense is where he spent most of his days. (Chilling out, maxing, and relaxing all cool… sorry, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune is infuriatingly trapped in my head; I’ll shake it off).

In 2001, the Argentine moved to Scotland and signed for Dundee. He proved a popular figure at Dundee – becoming synonymous with a somewhat offhand style, occasionally attempting to dribble out with the ball at his feet – and firmly established himself in the first-team.

His satisfying spell in Scotland was cut short, however, when cash-strapped Dundee sold Speroni to Crystal Palace in 2004 for £500,000.

He initially struggled at Palace; making a number of errors (or, to use the correct vernacular, ‘howlers’), thus losing his starting place to Gabor Kiraly and seemingly unable to break back full into the first-team.

Displaying fortitude, Julian finally got his chance at an extended run in the side when Kiraly left Palace in 2007, and abruptly seized the opportunity. Since then he has established himself as a bastion of Selhurst Park. Indeed, his significance to the side is conveniently exemplified by the fact he has picked up Palace’s ‘Player of the Year’ award for three consecutive years. All of which concisely brings us back to the grey, jaded present.

Reported to be a transfer target for Fulham and West Ham, Speroni could well be on his way out of Selhurst Park, particularly owing to Palace’s financial status (similar to his situation at Dundee, which leads to the only viable inference; Speroni possess some sort of macabre curse of fiscal failure).

Though clearly a very good goalkeeper, Speroni would be unlikely to start at Fulham or West Ham given the prominence of both Schwarzer and Green, hence it remains to be seen whether, at 31 years old, he would sacrifice his current position and a first-team football.

Anyway, his name keeps reminding me of a fresh, light and tasty (though overpriced) Italian beverage; it calling me, its mocking me, its leaving me with a voracious desire, so I’m off to forget feelings and start drinking.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jonathanellisTT

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