Reports are surfacing to suggest that Patrick van Aanholt’s proposed move to Crystal Palace is back on, a few days after it had looked to be dead in the water.
Having deployed a 3-5-2 formation with a relatively positive outcome at home to Everton last weekend, Sam Allardyce will no doubt see van Aanholt as the ideal man to slot into that system, having got the best out of him during their time together at the Stadium Of Light. Indeed, Sunderland’s fan-base seem to all agree that for all of his faults, the full-back played his best football for them under the guidance of their former gaffer.
Known for his attacking threat down the left-hand side, question marks remain over the true quality of the Dutchman’s defending but after months of seeing Joel Ward and Martin Kelly forced to uncomfortably fill in on the left, it will be a great source of comfort to have both Jeffrey Schlupp and Patrick van Aanholt at our disposal for the challenges that lie ahead.
There will be plenty who argue that the fee being demanded goes above and beyond what could be described as reasonable but in modern football, it is bordering on impossible to decide what represents decent value for money. In reality, we must accept that any business done in January will be more expensive than a comparitive deal completed over the summer months, given the desperate time constraints that hamstring managers and owners.
In isolation, this move ticks all of the stereotypical boxes associated with a pressurised January purchase but Allardyce’s knowledge of the player should offer real comfort for any Palace fan with nagging doubts, given the tactical improvements we saw from the team for the vast majority of our heartbreaking late defeat to the Toffees on Saturday.
Watch this space.