Saturday, June 25, 2022

Crystal Palace On The Brink Of Signing This Dutch Defensive Rock: A Smart Buy By De Boer?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

The decision to get in Frank De Boer after the surprising exit of Sam Allardyce from Crystal Palace, who guided the Eagles to the shore after brushing sides with relegation last season, was more tilted towards the Dutchman’s expert eye for the perfect talent than his managerial attributes.

During his time with the Nerazzurri last year, De Boer had brought in the expensive signings of João Mário and Gabriel Barbosa. However, he couldn’t register Barbosa in the European competition as Inter was facing the penalties for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations the previous season and things went haywire. Palace isn’t going through any such predicaments as of now and the manager is given the liberty to choose his pick this summer.

This could prove to be yet another poor season for Palace given how Boer had left Inter when he was sacked in November last year. Although the Dutch boss claimed that he wasn’t given much time at the helm, we don’t expect the London club to give much time to De Boer as well, if things go south. Given the fate Sunderland had after Allardyce left them in 2016 looks eerily similar to Palace now, they would hope not to follow the same drill.

The London club has spent millions since last summer bringing in the likes of Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend, Luka Milivojevic and more, and things not turning out well this season could be disastrous for them. Largely quiet this season, they have only brought in Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan from Chelsea so far.

And if reports are to be believed, De Boer has now decided to sign Dutch international Jaïro Riedewald from Eredivisie giants Ajax Amsterdam. The 20-year-old has played under De Boer previously during the legend’s managerial stint with Ajax, and it was he who had handed him his debut in 2013.

Palace are expected to shell out something in the region of £7.5 million, which would be the initial fee that is expected to further rise with add-ons concerning appearances and achievements. Riedewald isn’t an unknown face for the Premier League sides though, as clubs like West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City, Everton and Stoke City have all been keeping tabs on him for some time now.

He is known for his immense technical superiority and defensive attributes, which makes him versatile in the defensive third. He can play as a holding midfielder as well apart from being a natural centre-half. Palace have been desperate to bring in Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool but the Red’s £30m asking price has been a dampener.

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