Sam Allardyce has only been in the Everton hot-seat a matter of days but reports are already appearing in the press linking him and the Toffees with a January move for Crystal Palace full-back Patrick van Aanholt.
Having watched a comfortable 4-0 win over West Ham from the stands and presided over a 2-0 triumph against Huddersfield at Goodison Park on Saturday, the ex-Palace gaffer is sure to be feeling rather happy with life as things stand, leading him to make plans for the money he’ll have available to spend when the transfer window opens in a few week’s time.
After taking the Palace job on roughly 11 months ago, Allardyce set about splashing the cash and convinced Sunderland man Patrick van Aanholt to swap the North East for SE25. Having grown fond of one another during their time together with the Black Cats, the Dutchman jumped at the chance of a reunion and now it sounds as though the same thing might be happening in the New Year.
Despite many at Palace seeing Patrick as a gifted footballer, he has currently lost his starting left-back role to Jeffrey Schlupp, another of the player’s Big Sam brought in when he first arrived at Selhurst Park. Whilst Patrick probably offers the side more in an attacking sense, I get the impression that Hodgson sees Schlupp as a more willing defender and is therefore happy to use him from week to week given our current predicament.
In truth, reports have also linked Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City with a January swoop for Van Aanholt, setting up the ludicrous possibility of a bidding for his services. In reality, I’m sure we won’t see both clubs going toe-to-toe in a bid to sign him but it does at least show you how highly the top sides value naturally attacking full-backs when they come onto the market.
Whilst losing players from what is already a thin squad is far from ideal, I’m pretty sure the prospect of making a tidy profit on Patrick after just one year is something that Palace will entertain, as long as they’re left with enough time to source a suitable replacement before the transfer window closes.
Clearly, Van Aanholt has built up a fair amount of trust with Big Sam, even if he lost a great deal of Hodgson’s after that howler of a performance against Bristol City in the League Cup a month or so ago.
Watch this space.