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Three reasons why Roy Hodgson has struck gold with the signing of this 31-year old for Crystal Palace

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3 reasons why Roy Hodgson has struck gold with the signing of Vicente Guaita

Crystal Palace sealed a three-year deal with goalkeeper Vicente Guaita on a free transfer from Getafe last month. The Spanish star happens to be the first summer signing for Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles had a disastrous start last season, losing their first seven matches. In fact, they remained in the relegation zone for the initial 17 weeks. The club eventually bounced back to finish 11th but they have a tough task ahead of them.

Hodgson must work towards securing a better finish for the club and Guaita’s presence will certainly help them on that front. Now, let us take a look at the reasons why Roy Hodgson has struck gold with the signing of Vicente Guaita.

Sought-after goalkeeper

Upon securing a deal for the goalkeeper, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said,

“We are pleased that we beat off the competition for his (Vicente Guaita) signature.”

These words coming from the chairman speak volumes about the whole scenario. Guaita has enjoyed a widely successful career over the years and he was a force to reckon with in the La Liga. Now, at Palace, the veteran custodian will have a tough job to do between the sticks.

A goalkeeper with a great track record

A graduate of Valencia’s youth academy, Guaita spent 14 years in Mestalla, where he went on to represent Los Che in more than 100 games in all competitions. Having created a name for himself, the young lad eventually moved to Getafe in 2014 where he was a regular in the starting XI.

He had a brilliant 2017/18 season which prompted Hodgson to sign him in the first place. Guaita maintained 12 clean sheets the term, which played a key role in helping his side finish 8th. With an average of 2.88 saves per match and a 90% claim success rate, Guaita will be a crucial presence for Palace next season.

A great replacement for Crystal Palace legendary stopper Julian Speroni

Vicente Guaita will definitely be a great replacement for the club’s four-time Player of the Year winner Julian Speroni. It’s always hard to replace a player who has been an integral part of the club for over a decade. Speroni has been a loyal warrior for the Eagles for 14 years, protecting the goalpost day in and day out. But with the 39-year-old legend entering fag end of his career, the club have opted for Guaita who would be the right person to fill Speroni’s shoes.

Read More: Forget Yohan Cabaye – Here are 3 super replacements Crystal Palace could sign including this Brentford star

With a decade of experience, Guaita will definitely turn out to be an asset for Crystal Palace. And getting to train alongside Speroni will only improve the player in various aspects of the game and turn him into him an unstoppable force for the Eagles next season.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Who is this teen sensation being tracked by trio of Premier League clubs? All you need to know

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Who is Adam Lovatt? All you need to know about this teen being targetted by Premier League trio

According to an exclusive report from TEAMtalk, Premier League trio Crystal Palace, Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion are monitoring 18-year-old midfielder Adam Lovatt, who plays for non-league outfit Hastings United.

The teenage sensation has been making huge strides for the Arrows in the Isthmian League South East Division – the eighth tier of English football and has reportedly attracted interest from the aforementioned top-flight outfits. In addition, a number of lower league clubs including Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers are also interested. (h/t TEAMtalk)

With interest in abundance in the midfielder, let’s take a look as to what makes the 18-year-old such an attractive prospect.

Footballing Background

The midfielder is a product of the Eastbourne Borough academy and had made rapid progress through the youth ranks, breaking into and establishing himself as a regular in the U18 outfit two years ago. In fact, Lovatt was a part of the U18s outfit that reached the Ryman League Youth Cup semi-final in 2016/17.

As a result, Hastings United swooped for him ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, during which he played an important role as the club finished 9th. The youngster signed a new contract with the Arrows in March earlier this year, committing his future for the 2018/19 term. The deal also includes an option for the club to extend it by another year.

Lovatt has grown into an integral part of the non-league outfit and has been at the heart of their blistering start to the ongoing season.

Style of play

The 18-year-old is a central midfielder by trade, who has excelled in a box-to-box role for Hastings United over the past year. Possessing solid technical abilities, along with the necessary physical traits, Lovatt has shown signs of growing into an all-around, energetic operator in the engine room.

His positioning sense and the ability to read danger has been key for his ascension in the Arrows’ team, where he has made the defensive midfield slot his own.

He is equally efficient with the ball at his feet and keeps things moving in the middle with accurate passes. However, the 18-year-old has been found wanting in terms of impact in the attacking half of the field and he needs to develop the knack of starting attacking moves with through passes and long diagonal passes.

What does the future hold?

In his budding career with Hastings United, Lovatt has been making all the right noises so far. The midfielder clearly possesses bags of potential and has the talent to grow into a special player in the near future.

Read More: Two missed targets Crystal Palace must sign in January – including this £30m-rated Championship superstar

A move to any of the Premier League clubs mentioned above – Watford, Palace and Brighton – should appeal to the midfielder. However, a transfer to a club in the lower divisions would prove more beneficial for the 18-year-old since he will receive greater playing opportunities when compared to top-flight clubs.

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Crystal Palace

Tips for Karanka – Signing this experienced Premier League attacker could solve Nottingham Forest’s goalscoring woes

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Why Nottingham Forest must sign Bakary Sako for free

According to Nottingham Post, Nottingham Forest are interested in signing Bakary Sako on a free transfer. The Mali international is a free agent after seeing out his contract at Crystal Palace. To sign him, Forest must see off interest from fellow Championship side West Bromwich Albion to land the 30-year-old (h/t Nottingham Post).

Manager Aitor Karanka has one of the most exciting squads in the second tier of English football. However, despite making 16 signings in the summer, Nottingham Forest have failed to hit the ground running. After the first international break of the season, the Reds sit 15th after seven games.

Bakary Sako: The perfect fit for Nottingham Forest

Bakary Sako is primarily deployed as a left-winger but he can also play as a secondary striker and as a right-winger. Forest definitely need another striker as Lewis Grabban has struggled to adapt to life at his new club.  The six-foot-tall Sako could help take some pressure off Daryl Murphy.

Sidelined by an ankle injury last season, Bakary Sako scored six goals in 19 appearances across all competitions. The 30-year-old still has gas left in the tank and joining on a free transfer would represent a low-risk investment.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Palace attacking midfielder is a good dribbler. He can take long shots and is excellent at set-pieces. He has scored an impressive 72 goals in 364 career appearances.

Bakary Sako has previous Championship experience as well; in fact, he enjoyed his personal best seasons in this division at the Molineux. He played over 70 matches for Wolves across two seasons, scoring 24 goals. He failed to reach the same heights in the Premier League, however, scoring only five goals across three seasons. The previous campaign was perhaps his best in the top-flight before he picked the injury against West Ham United in January.

The Reds did well to eliminate Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup. However, Forest have only managed a single win, with five draws and a loss in their opening seven games. Karanka’s side are alarmingly behind leaders Leeds United and Middlesbrough.

Read More: Good job Karanka: Signing this Greek midfielder could do a world of good for Nottingham Forest

If the City Ground side are to genuinely challenge for promotion, they must start scoring goals and winning games.  Sako could provide goals and assists and win second balls upfield.

Hence, Nottingham Forest must go all out to land their man.  His big money move to Crystal Palace might have faltered but signing Bakary Sako on a free is a no-brainer for Karanka.

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Crystal Palace

Two missed targets Crystal Palace must sign in January – including this £30m-rated Championship superstar

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Two missed targets Crystal Palace must sign in the January window

Crystal Palace have made a disappointing start to the season with only one win from their first four games. In fact, it looks like Roy Hodgson’s team might have to battle it out to survive in the Premier League. Although it would be too early to write them off, their lack of consistency could return to bite them later.

Palace have been let down by star man Christian Benteke. The Belgian is yet to score a goal this season and has failed to find the target with his headers from close range. While Benteke’s lack of composure has not helped Palace, Wilfried Zaha, who made a bright start to the season with a couple of goals, is also sidelined due to an injury.

Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic, stars of Palace’s previous Premier League campaign, have also not lived up to expectations.

Apart from signing Max Meyer for free, Palace did not notably bolster their squad. Cheikhou Kouyate was bought from West Ham United to add strength to the central midfield while the Eagles secured the services of Jordan Ayew on a season-long loan from Swansea City.

But here are two missed targets Palace should sign in January.

1. Jack Grealish

Image result for jack grealish

According to the Mirror, Palace were potential suitors for Aston Villa’s highly-rated midfield sensation Jack Grealish. Although the Eagles inquired about the 22-year-old, a move to the Premier League did not materialize for the £30m-rated star.

A central attacking midfielder by trade, Grealish’s style of play is defined by his sharpness and agility. With quick reflexes and nimble feet, the player is capable of completing aesthetic dribbles. The 22-year-old has good vision and he could be the perfect man to link play with Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend in the attacking third.

He also has the ability to drift into wider positions, where he tends to deliver accurate crosses into the box. Thus, he could also be the ideal feeder for someone like Christian Benteke.

2. Jake Livermore

Image result for jake livermore

According to Football London, the 28-year-old West Bromwich Albion midfielder was another player who was linked with a move to Selhurst Park. Roy Hodgson has worked with Livermore previously. In fact, he handed the central midfielder his debut for the Three Lions during his tenure as the coach of the national side.

The versatile 28-year-old has the ability to play as a central defensive midfielder and a centre-back which should make him a good addition to Palace’s squad. Livermore has been in good form in the Championship this season, playing every minute of West Brom’s first six games where he has already registered an assist.

Read More: Enough is enough: It is time for this £40million attacking duo to step up at Crystal Palace

The English international’s concentration never wavers and he is composed enough to make key tackles and interceptions in the centre of the park. Furthermore, he can keep things ticking in the midfield with his range of passing.

 

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