Crystal Palace embarked on a mass overhaul of their first-team squad over the summer, allowing several experienced campaigners to depart before replacing them with exciting, young acquisitions.
And the early indications are that the capital club’s dealings were a huge success. The likes of Marc Guehi, Odsonne Edouard and Conor Gallagher have all hit the ground running at Selhurst Park, propelling Patrick Vieira’s new-look side to a memorable victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
However, while there can be little doubt over the incomings in south London, the club’s hierarchy arguably made a few mistakes when allowing some seasoned professionals to walk out the exit.
Winger Andros Townsend has been excelling at fellow Premier League club Everton in the opening weeks of the new campaign with five goals for the Toffees already, but defender Patrick van Aanholt is another who Palace chairman Steve Parish may have some regrets over.
His impressive performances for Palace saw him soon became a pivotal part of the English sides system under former manager Roy Hodgson, earning him 19 caps for the Netherlands senior setup as a result.
But while the ex-England boss brought stability to Palace during his tenure, Hodgson has left behind an imbalanced and unstable playing squad, with the Selhurst Park outfit having the oldest squad in the top flight in 2020/21.
Consequently, Van Aanholt was one of the players sacrificed to make way for the new era in south London and was phased out of the Palace starting XI in the final few weeks of last term, allowing promising full-back Tyrick Mitchell a chance to shine.
However, the now 31-year-old still made 22 Premier League appearances for Palace, recording 1.4 interceptions per game and 1.1 defensive dribbles per game, the third-highest totals in the Palace squad for each metric, respectively.
His departure on a free transfer in the previous window has left Mitchell as the only natural left-back in Vieira’s squad, while Van Aanholt’s eye-catching performances for Galatasaray in the Europa League will surely leave Parish and co. lamenting their decision to let the defender go.