Patrick Van Aanholt’s sublime winning strike against Middlesbrough is still fresh in the memory for most Palace fans and yesterday, the club’s official Twitter account revealed the best footage of it yet.
Having joined the club with a reputation as a goalscoring full-back, plenty of Palace fans had expected the Dutchman to ping a few efforts at goal with his stronger left foot, only to be surprised when the effort he struck on Saturday came off his weaker right. Clearly, the former Sunderland man is never afraid to take aim from range when the opportunity presents itself.
Whilst no one would deny that any left-back’s primary job is to defend, plenty will be pleased to note that Patrick’s tally of eight goals since the beginning of last season is the single most of any defender in the Premier League, giving us another genuine attacking threat down the flank from week to week.
Saturday saw him link up supremely well with Wilfried Zaha on more than one occasion, offering everyone hope of a successful and long-lasting partnership between the pair. Although Wilf will happily take on any of his covering defenders alone, it goes without saying that having someone of Van Aanholt’s calibre floating just behind you him will add a sense of trepidation to the opposition’s play.
Although the goal itself was impressive, the emotional significance of it, both for the team and Van Aanholt personally should not be underplayed. After losing his grandfather earlier that week, Patrick dedicated his goal to him, as you can see from his passion-filled celebration in the video above.
Let’s hope he can pop up with a few more like this between now and May.
It is my lifelong dream to write about Crystal Palace FC for a living. If you appreciate the content produced for HLTCO, please click here and read about my long-term plans for the site. I will be eternally grateful if you can contribute in any way.