Wilfried Zaha once again faces questions about his future at Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson seemingly has no plans to retire anytime soon, so many senior players are out of contract in the summer – it’s shaping up to be an interesting season at Crystal Palace.
Next year, let alone next season, still seems some way off for the Eagles, who travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley on Monday night, before facing Newcastle United at home in the same week.
Palace have made a promising start to the season, beating Southampton, Manchester United and Fulham so far this season, although they suffered back-to-back defeats to Everton and Chelsea, as well as Wolves, whilst a dull draw with Brighton in the A23 derby did little to brighten the mood.
But Hodgson’s side bounced back by battering Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United in a 4-1 win at home before the international break which means they are already 10 points clear of the relegation zone. However, Hodgson will still have his work cut out, if recent reports are to be believed.
According to Football Insider, Palace chairman Steve Parish is currently holding contract talks with Patrick van Aanholt, but these are in danger of imminently collapsing at any moment.
It’s claimed that talks between the two sides have stalled as it looks increasingly likely the left-back will leave the club as a free agent when his contract runs out in the summer, amid interest from an unnamed elite club who are keen to tie him down to a pre-contract agreement in January.
Although Tyrick Mitchell has become a first-team regular starter in recent weeks, Hodgson must convince Van Aanholt to stay at Selhurst Park before it’s too late.
There will always be a debate over when it would be the best time to let a senior player leave for pastures news. Palace have been more guilty than most clubs of clinging on to bygone relics from the past for far too long as Christian Benteke arguably should have been sold years ago, but Mitchell can benefit massively by learning from a player who has been there and done it at a decent level of the game.
Van Aanholt, who is currently valued at £7.2m via Transfermarkt, could prove to be an important mentor to the 21-year-old as he has vast levels of Premier League experience, especially when you consider the fact that he won the title during his time at Chelsea. He began his professional career at the Blues but spent several loan spells away from Stamford Bridge before being sold to Sunderland.
In 29 appearances in the Premier League season, the Netherlands international bagged three goals and two assists, whilst he made 1.5 tackles, 1.5 clearances and 1.6 interceptions per game, via WhoScored. Whether or not Mitchell will be able to match these statistics remains to be seen but he is on the right track so far, as he is averaging 4 tackles per game in the Premier League so far this season, as per WhoScored.
Given his age, the Palace academy graduate cannot be expected to shoulder the burden alone on the left flank, that’s for sure. Swallow your pride Parish, and get it done, Eagles.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace must avoid Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso at all costs…