Remember the 3-2 win over Brighton at Selhurst Park back in the 2017/18 campaign, Crystal Palace fans?
That encounter – in which Wilfried Zaha bagged a double – saw Jairo Riedewald come off the bench to play the last ten minutes.
The significance of this, I hear you ask?
Well, after that match ended, the 3-cap Netherlands international did not make a single Premier League appearance until the 0-0 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road this season.
That means that Riedewald failed to play a single minute of Premier League action in the whole of the 2018/19 campaign, despite being named on the bench 17 times that term in England’s top-flight.
There was no serious injury, and Roy Hodgson’s reasons for such a banishment remain unknown.
However, a recent injury crisis has seen the former Ajax man be handed another chance, and he really is taking it with both hands.
The 23-year-old impressed the Palace fans on Twitter after returning to action against Watford, and again against Norwich, while his vital block against West Ham was also met with praise – as too was his most recent outing against Arsenal, and rightly so.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 11, 2020
Riedewald was heavily involved from a defensive aspect, making three tackles, two interceptions and four clearances, with one of those tackles followed by an impressive roulette to take him around Nicolas Pepe as you can see above.
Additionally, the Dutchman had 70 touches of the ball – one less than James McArthur, who had the most for Palace – while he also completed 44 passes in what was a neat display against Mikel Arteta’s men.
This performance against the Gunners, as well as a string of impressive displays since he replaced the injured Patrick van Aanholt at left-back, begs the question – why did Hodgson leave him out for so long?
It is clear that the Palace No.44 is a capable performer at this level, and one who surely deserved to have at least a few Premier League minutes on the pitch last season – to see him perform this way, having failed to play a single second last term, does throw up a few question marks over Hodgson’s judgement of the player.
Who knows – would Riedewald even be getting the chance to perform right now if Van Aanholt didn’t get injured?
To discuss that would be speculative, although the point still stands – such a dependable performer should not have managed only ten minutes of action in 43 games across the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Premier League campaigns.
In other news, a journalist has offered an update on Crystal Palace’s chances of signing a second striker this month…