Crystal Palace have made some questionable signings in recent years and many of them have gone on to make just a few appearances before shuffling out the door or alternatively sliding into obscurity. Jairo Riedewald is one of the latter, with the Dutchman having failed to make a league start since February 2018.
The former Ajax man did feature for the Eagles Under-23’s against Leeds on Monday and completed 90 minutes; at least he’s not entirely wasting away. In fact, the midfielder’s teammate for the afternoon, Luke Dreher, was full of praise for Riedewald after the game.
Well, speaking after a hard-fought 2-2 draw, the Palace youngster said:
“[Jairo Riedewald] is so calm on the ball, really good technically and so he’s easy to play with. You know you can give him the ball and he’ll look after it. It was good to have him alongside me.”
Of course, playing against Leeds Under-23’s is different to playing against the champions of England, but the qualities mentioned by Dreher are things Palace were crying out for in their apathetic defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.
Technique and calmness in the middle of the park are commodities for Palace, with even Luka Milivojevic guilty of the occasional hospital ball or being dispossessed in a dangerous area now and then, and they gave it away far too easily against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Their passive defending meant they hardly got a touch of the ball in the first place but once they did, they were more often than not wasteful – the Eagles were penned in their own half for much of the first 45 and didn’t get much better after the break.
Roy Hodgson’s midfield trio were crying out for a calming influence and a player who is reliable in possession – Dreher indicates Riedewald is exactly that.
A Crystal Palace fan shares his most gutting moment of the last 10 years supporting the Eagles in the video below…
The versatile number 44’s Palace career is surely seen as all but over by many, but he is still only 22 so there is plenty of time for him to develop into the player Frank de Boer was hoping he could become when he brought his countryman to south London in 2017.
What do you think, Palace fans? Does the 6 footer have a future at Selhurst Park? Let us know in the comments below.