Roy Hodgson expects Palace players to stay as Vicente Guaita signs new deal

Roy Hodgson is pleased Vicente Guaita has committed his future to Crystal Palace and expects fellow experienced players Patrick Van Aanholt and Christian Benteke to remain at Selhurst Park for the rest of the season.

Goalkeeper Guaita put pen to paper on a new deal until the summer of 2023 on Monday to ensure the Eagles started transfer deadline day on a high.

The 34-year-old moved to south London in 2018 and has become a key player for the Eagles, but reports from his native Spain over the weekend suggested he had agreed a pre-contract with Real Sociedad.

Speculation over his future was finally put to bed days after he made two vital saves to secure a 1-0 win over Wolves, which boosted spirits at Selhurst Park prior to Tuesday’s trip to Newcastle.

Hodgson said: “Sporting director Doug (Freedman) did the deal with Vicente some while ago, so I have always known he had committed his future to the club and we are very pleased to have him.

“He has been very consistent with his performances, he has made some very good saves during the time he has been with us and he seems to be enjoying his time here.”

Guaita was one of several players set to be a free agent in the summer, which remains the case for Van Aanholt and Benteke, who have been in and out of the starting XI this season.

With both eager to play for Holland and Belgium at the European Championship later this year, a move away from Selhurst Park has been mooted.

But Benteke is not expected to be reunited with ex-Palace manager Sam Allardyce despite the West Brom boss registering an interest in the forward earlier this month.

“There is speculation about a lot of players, but Christian and I know exactly where we stand with each other and I am happy that he is staying with us,” Hodgson added.

Van Aanholt has options in the Premier League and abroad, with Arsenal monitoring the situation of the 30-year-old due to their own lack of cover at left-back.

Hodgson said: “Is Patrick Van Aanholt a good enough player to play for Arsenal? Yes he is but I think he is good enough to play for a lot of clubs, not least our own.

“This is where he is contracted and this is where I am expecting him to stay.”

Palace will focus on the task at hand and the long journey on the horizon to the north east for a clash with 15th-placed Newcastle.

Four points separates the two teams and Hodgson sympathised with rival manager Steve Bruce after the Magpies had to deal with a coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2020, which saw a number of key personnel sidelined.

“They have got some very good players and Steve Bruce has been very unlucky during a period of time because a lot of those good players that he trusts and would like on the field have not been available,” the 73-year-old insisted.

“Now they are coming back and I am looking at the options they have and they have a lot of options and quality players so I am not at all surprised to see them play well at Everton and win, and we are expecting a very tough game up there.”