According to Mirror, Leeds United have set their sights on Patrick van Aanholt. It appears Marcelo Bielsa is keen on reinforcements in the fullback department this summer, with the club now expressing interest in the services of the Crystal Palace left-back. Aanholt’s current contract at Palace expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be available as a free agent in the summer.
Patrick van Aanholt: A Seasoned Premier League Star
A product of the Chelsea youth academy, Patrick van Aanholt kickstarted his Premier League career back in the 2014/15 campaign at Sunderland. He spent almost three years at the club, making a total of 95 competitive appearances before joining Crystal Palace in early 2017.
Since then, the Dutchman has notched up 130 competitive appearances for the Eagles – playing a vital role in his favoured left-back position. In total, van Aanholt has over 200 Premier League matches to his name while also winning 12 caps for the Dutch national side.
Along with his experience, the 30-year-old also brings a lot of leadership to the table. He is already one of the older members of the current Palace defensive unit, and having played at the top level for so long, he would certainly know how to lead a team.
In addition, van Aanholt is known for his offensive prowess and impressive work-ethic, which is why he was such a highly-rated prospect during the early stages of his career. But with his Palace contract expiring at the end of the season, it is time for him to take the next step in his career.
Is He A Viable Option For Leeds United?
Leeds United are certainly in need of reinforcements in the fullback department following a number of injuries and fitness problems to star players. Such issues have forced the versatile Stuart Dallas to play in a variety of roles, including central midfield and right-back, leaving Bielsa devoid of options in the left-back position.
Ezgjan Alioski has been mainly acting as an alternative, but the Macedonian is facing an uncertain future at Elland Road with his contract expiring at the end of the season. His potential departure from the club should pave the way for van Aanholt to join the camp at Leeds.
The Dutchman brings the experience that could be extremely useful in an otherwise young setup. In addition, the left-back is known for his work ethic and discipline that are ideally suited to Bielsa’s tactical philosophy while his ability to lead the side could help add some more balance to the Leeds backline.
Most importantly, van Aanholt, with his expiring contract, will be available for free in the summer – making him an ideal like for like replacement for Alioski. Or better yet, Leeds United may even retain the services of the Macedonian, primarily utilising him as a more offensive play, while van Aanholt and Dallas could compete at left-back.