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With a proposed move to Napoli now apparently off the table, Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis will now play his football this season for either, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United or Watford, according to his agent.
Apparently, the Greece international stopper is still wanted by current club Udinese, though the 32-year-old former Panathinaikos man wishes to leave now, with England being his desired location. Age would seem to be a factor in his decision, wishing to play in the most competitive of the big leagues while he has the chance.
Newcastle have sent Dutchman Tim Krul back out on loan to AZ Alkmaar for the season and Rafa seems to prefer Rob Elliott to Karl Darlow, though neither appear to have truly convinced the former Real Madrid boss. The club have already failed with deals for Willy Caballero and Pepe Reina this summer and ideally will still add to their goalkeeping ranks, with Matz Sels being another one allowed out on a temporary deal.
Despite being a popular figure at St James’s Park and being an excellent shot-stopper, there was a hint of social media criticism for Rob Elliott following Newcastle’s first game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, due to his less than brilliant distribution, though it could also be the Ireland international’s injury record which is holding him back.
Should Elliott miss another chunk of games this season, then Benitez will once again be forced to field Darlow. Despite gaining a good reputation with the fans last season, it’s clear the boss doesn’t truly rate him and so with that in mind, the situation is not ideal.
The idea of bringing in an experienced ‘keeper to see out at least this first season back in the Premier League is undoubtedly a good one, though my only concern here is who it would be. Karnezis could be brilliant, but given his age and the high profile league he is playing in, I would have thought that other clubs would have shown an interest in his services before this transfer window.
In terms of Premier League sides, Crystal Palace and Watford as rivals for his signature do nothing to convince me of his abilities at this level, though the positive on that score is the potential deal which could have been concluded for him at Napoli.
Had Napoli been willing to let go of previous Newcastle target Pepe Reina and replace him with Karnezis that would have been a big clue as to his ability, something perhaps recognised by Benitez. Nevertheless, I have a feeling Karnezis would be a great addition to Newcastle United.