In signing Vicente Guaita, Palace have managed to secured the services of one of Spanish football’s top goalkeepers of recent years, who boasts plenty of pedigree having played at the highest level for the majority of his career.
His potential was quickly realised by Spanish giants Valencia by the age of eight when he was invited to join their youth academy in 1995. After working his way through the ranks and playing understudy to top shot-stoppers such as Santiago Canizares and Timo Hildebrand, he made his first-team bow in 2008/09 and further displayed his talents the following campaign on loan at Recreativo Huelva, where he won the Segunda’s Goalkeeper of the Year award.
That saw him afforded more opportunities upon his return to the Mestalla, and he appeared in 28 games in all competitions including a run to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. He eventually established himself as first-choice for Valencia, and after helping them to successive third-place finishes in La Liga, he was made vice-captain for the 2013/14 campaign.
At the end of that season and having amassed 114 appearances for Valencia, he made a move to Getafe where he was instantly installed as their number one, but he couldn’t help them sliding out of the top-flight during his second season at the Madrid-based club.
However, with their main shot-stopper back between the posts, Guaita helped them bounce back via the play-offs in 2017, and then established them back amongst Spanish football’s elite last term by keeping 12 clean sheets to help Getafe to an eighth-place finish.