Another day for Crystal Palace fans and yet another Dutch player linked with a move to Selhurst Park. Following the appointment of Frank De Boer this summer, this has been more like a custom every other day for the Eagles, and the latest to join the bandwagon is Gregory van der Wiel.
The decision of Palace to bring in De Boer wasn’t taken very nicely by many, given his failed stint at Inter Milan last season. The Dutch legend was given four months to prove his mettle with some record breaking transfers at San Siro last season but the pressure of instant success looked too much for him. He will hope for a lesser weight of expectations at Palace, given the way they finished the previous season.
The Eagles escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season courtesy some brilliant displays by loanee Mamadou Sakho and a sheer tactician in Sam Allardyce. Now with both of them gone, Palace surely look less stable at the moment. However, they are ready to back their new boss with as much cash as possible and he has already started targeting his priorities.
The defence was Palace’s weakest link last season as they let in 63 goals in 36 games, and mending it will be quintessential at the moment. Sakho has left a huge void at their back and De Boer is trying his best to plug it. Given his best years have been with Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax, it is only natural that he would target those known faces.
And Wiel is one such option apart from the much talked about deal of Jairo Riedewald. Now 29, the full-back currently plays for Turkish side Fenerbahce, where it hasn’t been quite settling. Following his previous successful stint with Paris Saint-Germain, where he won a whopping 12 trophies over a span of just five years, he is seeking success somewhere else.
And if De Boer comes calling, under whom he has played for two years during their time at Ajax coming up through their academy, the Dutch international is expected to make a move. While Joel Ward has held the position decently alongside Martin Kelly, Palace would need an upgrade in that area.
So far, Palace has only completed a loan transfer of Chelsea’s highly-rated midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and with less than a month to go for the next season, De Boer has little time. Wiel has played 45 times for Netherlands so far, which is quite indicative of how assured a figure he has been at the top level and Palace could really gain from his transfer.
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