Patrick van Aanholt is soon out of contract with Crystal Palace
According to Football.london, Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt is still a transfer target for Arsenal, who are in the market for a full-back. The Dutchman is out of contract at Selhurst Park, with his deal set to expire in a matter of days.
While he is named on the list of players to be released, another report by Football.london explicitly clarifies that clubs can still negotiate terms with the players until their contract actually expires. Van Aanholt joined Palace from Sunderland in 2017.
Since then, he has been a mainstay in the Palace squad and has made the left-back position his own. But with little talks over a new contract in the summer, fans would be baffled why a first-team regular is being let go like this. Here, we see why Palace should make a last-ditch effort to keep the 30-year-old on their books.
Palace cannot afford such a big exodus
The aforementioned report goes on to mention that Palace look set to release 22 players in the summer which includes big names such as Mamadou Sakho, Gary Cahill, and Van Aanholt. This comes after Roy Hodgson announced his retirement from management. But such a big number of players being let go is worrying.
We will stick to the full-back position, where, as of now, Palace stand to lose Joel Ward, Nathaniel Clyne, as well as Van Aanholt. Ward and Clyne have played in the left-back position in the past, and so has Sakho. But with them potentially released, the London-based club will only have Tyrick Mitchell at left-back.
That is worrisome. As talented as they might be, a club only relying on a 21-year-old to take up a taxing position such as full-back without proper backup is a cause for concern. One injury and the club would be down to its bare bones in that area. Van Aanholt has been a regular in that position for years.
Van Aanholt has made 134 appearances for Palace, with almost all of those coming in the left-back area. Those number of matches in the space of just 4 years shows his importance to the side. Even this season, despite being hampered by an injury, the Dutchman managed to feature in 23 games for his team.
Van Aanholt would a big loss for Crystal Palace
Hence, he has the know-how of English football, having played at clubs like Chelsea, Sunderland, Leicester City, Newcastle United, as well as Wigan Athletic before this. At 30, he is also not at the end of his career and can give a sturdy couple of seasons to the club before Mitchell is thrown into the shark tank of Premier League football.
Moreover, the fact that they could lose him on a free transfer is something that would also sting fans and board members alike. The Netherlands international was signed in 2017 by Sam Allardyce for a fee rising to £12million. While some may say that his 130+ appearances have more than made up for it, Palace would rather sell him for some cash.
- Liverpool looking to beat Man United to Christian Romero – A wasteful move?
- Struggling Donny van de Beek linked with Barcelona move – Time for goodbye?
- Arsenal plan a second bid for Ben White after £40m failure – Do they need the player?
Even an extension by one year could allow Palace to potentially seek some fee for a future transfer. On top of that, with Palace clearly looking at a rebuild, it would help to have a veteran like Van Aanholt in the team. And with just a week left until he becomes a free agent, it is not too late for the club to make one last effort at keeping him.