Crystal Palace fans had extremely high hopes for him when he first arrived at Selhurst Park but some 18 months after making the switch from Ajax, it looks as though Jairo Riedewald may well be heading off to La Liga in the 48 hours.
The Dutchman was initially brought to Selhurst Park by Frank de Boer, prompting Eagles fans to daydream about the Ajax academy star spraying balls left, right and centre for years to come but thanks in no small part to his former gaffer’s rapid departure from the dugout, Jairo has found himself struggling massively for first-team minutes in the last year or so.
It’s not that he’s a bad technical player, far from it in fact but judging by some comments given by Roy’s assistant Ray Lewington a few weeks back, the Palace coaching staff simply aren’t sure if Jairo has it in him to make any position his own whilst still on the club’s books. Quite often, tactical versatility acts as a key element in a player’s involvement in match day squads but in Riedewald’s case, he’s just not quite good enough to climb above any of the central defenders or midfielders that Roy and co. currently have to choose from, leaving him out in the cold and looking for a fresh start.
There has been interest in him from Championship side Middlesbrough but given the frustrating experience he’s had in England to date, it’s no real surprise to see that he seemingly favours a move to Celta Vigo over Teeside, with the pace of play and tactical shift hopefully something he’ll be well suited to. Reports in the local Galician press highlight Celta’s desperation for fresh faces at the heart of defence, with Jairo seen as an ideal option. Who knows? He could prove to be a smash hit over there with a little bit of faith from the coaching staff.
Whilst there is no concrete answer given either way, it seems as though the deal may well be an initial loan with a potential option to buy inserted for the end of the season. That’s the way moves like this tend to work these days, allowing both clubs and the player a degree of flexibility in the early stages of the move.
It’ll be a shame to see him go but I can definitely see why Jairo is keen to have a clean slate elsewhere after kicking his heels for so long.