With Crystal Palace now reported to be on the verge of signing 20-year-old Ajax defender Jairo Riedewald, Palace fans have been doing some digging into the sort of player we’re getting and are rather pleased with what they’ve found.
Having been brought up to adhere to the philosophy of “Total Football” championed by Johan Cruyff and Frank de Boer alike, Riedewald would bring a hugely different dimension to our defensive play, if he does indeed decide to sign on the dotted line at Selhurst Park.
Still only 20 and seemingly comfortable operating in the centre and left side of defence as well as defensive midfield, the Dutchman has proven himself to be incredibly versatile, as well as technically gifted in the early stages of his professional career. Given his apparent strengths, a move to SE25 may be something of a culture shock for the youngster but if de Boer is to foster a new way of thinking about the game inside the club, the capture of Jairo may represent a big part of the puzzle.
Our counter-attacking ways been both a strength and a weakness in recent seasons depending on the opposition but all of the noises emanating from Palace’s Beckenham training base in recent weeks have pointed towards a physically demanding, pressing style of play being worked on by de Boer and the players, which should, in theory, result in higher possession statistics for the Eagles in the 2017/18 campaign.
If that does prove to be the case, a player like Riedewald could well flourish in the Premier League after proving himself to be the best passer of a ball in Ajax’s entire first-team squad last season. I’ll be honest, I’m a little baffled as to why we’re not facing stiffer competition for the Netherlands international as things stand but I’m certainly not complaining.
I personally guarantee that the graphic attached at the top of the page will impress you. We may be about to land ourselves a bargain.