Jairo Riedewald arrived at Palace as part of Frank de Boer’s extremely short-lived Dutch revolution in the summer of 2017 with high hopes for his future in the Premier League but almost 18 months on, it’s fair to say that the former Ajax man has struggled find his niche in south London.
Having come through the Dutch giants’ academy system, the 22-year-old followed De Boer to SE25 on the assumption of a regular place in the Eagles’ first-team but with the gaffer only lasting a handful of games before getting the chop, Jairo has been left with no choice but to try and provoke Roy Hodgson into incorporating him into the starting XI.
For De Boer, Jairo’s positional versatility was a huge selling point but with Roy keen to ensure that Palace adopt a certain style of play, it’s fair to say that the Dutchman’s laid-back approach has halted any chances he may have had of dethroning Luka Milivojevic in the middle of the park. As you can see from these quotes offered forward by assistant boss Ray Lewington, there is a sense of uncertainty about how and where we can use Jairo regularly and it doesn’t look to be a puzzle we’re close to solving.
Having been brought up to play a possession-based style of the game as part of Ajax’s academy, we as supporters shouldn’t sit here and complain at Riedewald not running around in central midfield like a bulldog but with more than three years left to run on his Palace contract, we will have to find a role for him or consider cutting our losses and parting ways over the next year or so.
Technically, there aren’t a lot of holes in Jairo’s game but in a league as frantic as ours, I don’t blame Roy and Ray for feeling some trepidation over the prospect of using the Dutchman from the start of games, as we look to establish a certain tempo in a bid to destabilise our opponents. Can he adapt to it and become as asset in years to come? I’d certainly hope so.