Jairo Riedewald hasn’t featured as much as he would like for Palace since joining from Ajax last summer but over the last few weeks, the young Dutchman has started to feel as though manager Roy Hodgson is getting to grips with what he can offer the side when selected.
Having initially been brought into the fold by Frank de Boer, Riedewald will no doubt have hoped to see his former Ajax boss given longer in the Selhurst Park hot-seat but after being forced to knuckle down in the aftermath of De Boer’s sacking, he’s now feeling extremely comfortable under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, who has rapidly won the trust of every single professional in SE25.
Used as a direct replacement for Yohan Cabaye against Spurs last Sunday, Jairo did a more than passable job in the centre of midfield and drew praise from the gaffer in Thursday’s press conference previewing tonight’s game against United. With the Frenchman’s contract set to expire when the 2017-18 campaign draws to a close, there is now a possibility of the significantly more youthful Riedewald stepping directly into his shoes, regardless of the division we find ourselves competing in.
Positionally versatile and keen to impress both the coaching staff and Palace’s fans, Jairo could yet go on to become a firm favourite in south London over the next few years, particularly given the vocal backing of his universally respected boss Roy Hodgson. It’s a testament to him, given his age, that a manager who readily admitted to knowing little to nothing about him when he first arrived is now singing his praises in the press; a turn of events which points towards him having a bright future in the game if he continues along the same path.
At just 21, the 6’0 midfielder could be forgiven for one or two lapses of judgement or overly boastful comments but throughout the interview attached above, he comes across as the model professional. A man completely dedicated to making a success of his time with us and within the game as a whole. I have no doubt that he’ll go on to establish himself as a first-team regular if he’s given enough time to grow and develop by those behind the scenes, particularly if Roy Hodgson remains in charge for another two or three years.
Technically, he has all the raw attributes necessary to flourish with us, now it’s just a case of him putting everything together at once to reach the heights his youth coaches and Frank de Boer always saw him being capable of performing at on a regular basis.
We’ll all be watching his progress with interest.