Crystal Palace have finally started their business in the summer transfer market by signing the vastly talented versatile defender Jairo Riedewald from Dutch side Ajax. The 20-year old Dutchman has been roped in for a £7.9 million transfer deal and will be shortly joining his new teammates in Hong Kong for their pre-season tour.
Riedewald has been one of the most highly regarded young prospects to have played in the Dutch Eredivisie. He has been a part of the Ajax squad from the youth level and has made his way up the ranks gradually through his career so far. He started off with the Ajax Amsterdam Under 19 side and went on to make 13 appearances for the team before making it into the Under 21 squad, where he made 23 appearances and played a crucial part to be picked for the senior squad.
His diligent performance in the backline for the Under 21 team attracted the interest of Ajax and he was handed his senior debut in 2014 under the tutelage of Dutch coach Frank De Boer, who has been appointed the new manager of Crystal Palace for the next season.
The 20-year-old defender made 93 appearances in total for the Ajax Amsterdam side so far and has been one of the most important players throughout the last few seasons to hold their backline firmly, evading waves of attack from the opposition. The player has been one of the main reasons for the Dutch side to end their season as the runner ups in the Dutch Eredivisie, within touching distance of the eventual champions Feyenoord.
Riedewald, along with his teammates, made sure that their team made it into the final of the UEFA Europa League in the last season, where they put up a fighting performance before going down by 2-0 to Manchester United, handing them their first ever Europa League trophy.
The performances of the Dutch defender attracted interests from a number of clubs from all over Europe, however, Crystal Palace made sure that they were the ones to get the youngster in their squad for the next term. It might have been also due to the influence of the new Eagles manager Frank De Boer that made it possible for the defender to land at the Selhurst Park from the Dutch outfit.
The versatile player is known for his qualities of controlling the ball and keeping the opponent strikers at bay with his tackling and clearing the ball out of harm’s way.