Crystal Palace‘s signing of Vicente Guaita has proven to be a masterclass as the Spaniard is still a key player in Patrick Vieira’s side at 35.
The Spanish shot-stopper would join the Eagles on a free transfer from Getafe in 2018 and has gone on to make 132 appearances for the Selhurst Park outfit, in which he has conceded 174 goals and kept 41 clean sheets.
Was the Guaita signing a masterclass?
Even with the summer addition of England international Sam Johnstone from West Brom, Guaita has maintained his place in Vieira’s squad and looks set to be number one for the foreseeable future.
The Spaniard’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season but considering how important he has become to the Eagles, it seems unlikely that they will let him leave on a free transfer, even if Vieira sees his future as back-up to Johnstone.
Considering Palace icon Julian Speroni was still playing in the Premier League for Palace in his 40s, there seems no reason why Guaita can’t attain a similar status at Selhurst Park should he extend his stay with the club.
Fellow Palace stalwart Joel Ward was full of praise for the veteran ‘keeper after he produced some incredible saves to keep a clean sheet against Newcastle United earlier in the campaign, saying:
“Look at the first half, the one-on-one, and the second half where he tips it onto the post. V, we know his quality, know what he can do and how quick he is. His reactions are second to none. Some games, some days, you need your ‘keepers to pull out those worldie saves and today he did that for us.”
WhoScored ranks Guaita as the sixth-best performer in Vieira’s side so far this term, so there seems little chance of him losing his place in the side anytime soon.
Therefore, director of football Dougie Freedman deserves an immense amount of credit for spotting Guaita’s talent and bringing him in on a free transfer four years ago.