Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt has been called up to represent the Netherlands in this summer’s European Championship, making the club’s decision to let him leave even more baffling.
What’s the story?
The 30-year-old left-back is one of 14 first team players out of contract at Selhurst Park over the summer, but reports have revealed that the south London outfit have no intention of offering the former Sunderland man a new deal.
Many changes are expected to take place at Palace over the coming months, although letting Van Aanholt depart is one that chairman Steve Parish may end up regretting.
Parish making a mistake
Roy Hodgson announced his departure after a four-year spell with the capital club a few days ago, and it’s set to be an intriguing new chapter for the Eagles in the years to come.
The former England manager brought stability to Palace, achieving respectable Premier League finishes of 11th, 12th, 14th and 14th during his tenure.
However, Hodgson has left behind an imbalanced and unstable playing squad. The Selhurst Park outfit had the oldest squad in the top flight in 2020/21, and long-term injuries to promising youngsters Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson have further complicated the already tricky task facing the 73-year-old’s successor.
Van Aanholt was phased out of the Palace starting XI in the final few weeks of the recently-concluded campaign as his imminent exit became common knowledge, allowing promising full-back Tyrick Mitchell a chance to shine.
Nevertheless, the £7.2m-rated dynamo is still arguably the club’s best left-back, and with Ferguson potentially sidelined until the new year, allowing the Dutchman to leave on a free transfer makes little sense.
The Netherlands are set to face Austria, Ukraine and North Macedonia in Group C in the delayed Euro 2020. If former Palace boss Frank de Boer believes that Van Aanholt is capable of performing against opposition of that calibre, then surely the 30-year-old is still able to do a job in south London.
Parish will be forced into making some big decisions this summer, but it seems that he has already got the first one wrong in allowing Van Aanholt to walk through the exit door.