Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Leeds United Plot Shock Move For Crystal Palace Fullback: A Wise Choice By Bielsa?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

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.

Leeds United have set their sights on Patrick van Aanholt - A good option?
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League 30/01/2021. Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt 3 warming up prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Selhurst Park, London, England on 30 January 2021. London Selhurst Park Greater London England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xToyinxOshodix PSI-11751-0050

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.

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