Will Jairo Riedewald leave Crystal Palace to gain more playing time?
Crystal Palace midfielder Jairo Riedewald has made just two Premier League starts in 2018, spending the majority of his debut season as an unused substitute or being left out of the matchday squad entirely.
The 21-year-old followed his former Ajax manager Frank de Boer to Selhurst Park last summer and was expected to strengthen the Eagles’ defence, but the pair only worked together for four games before de Boer was sacked and opportunities have since been hard to come by for Riedewald.
Axed after a woeful debut
Riedewald had a debut to forget for the Eagles, playing a full 90 minutes as Palace were thrashed 3-0 at home to newly-promoted Huddersfield, giving the Tigers their first Premier League victory. The defender started in a back-three with Scott Dann and Timothy Fosu-Mensah who found themselves 2-0 down inside of 30 minutes and were booed off at the final whistle.
Palace tried to play a more possession-based style under de Boer which meant building attacks from the goalkeeper and defence, but Riedewald clearly wasn’t comfortable with this against Huddersfield. The Netherlands u21 international was pressed constantly by the Terriers and was forced into mistakes.
Unfortunately, his manager wasn’t sympathetic and dropped him for the remainder of his tenure. Riedewald was left out of the matchday squad for three of Palace’s next four league games and racked up just 39 minutes of football over four months under de Boer’s successor Roy Hodgson before making his second start – Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester City on December 31.
He’s been in the matchday squad on a regular basis in the second-half of the season, occasionally coming off the bench to shore up the midfield but might be wondering where his future lies after a forgettable debut season at Selhurst. After all, the youngster did only join Palace because of de Boer, whom he’d played under at Ajax, and barely got a chance to prove himself before his sacking.
There may not be an immediate place for him in the Palace side, but he does have potential that might mean he’s worth keeping on the books.
Loan move on the cards?
A lack of playing time at former club Ajax led to Riedewald seeking a move away last summer and unfortunately the 21-year-old finds himself in a similar situation a year later. If he’s not given any guarantees over playing time, Palace might be resigned to losing the Dutchman, at least on a temporary basis.
The defensive midfielder has shown promise in bursts, proving himself a good passer of the ball and put in decent performances off the bench. His versatility in defence and midfield has helped him not be completely frozen out in 2017/18, but Riedewald might feel he needs regular football next season to continue his development.
Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven were linked with a loan move for the 21-year-old back in January but nothing materialised. The likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Everton were interested before Palace procured his signature, so there should be a number of suitors keen on his services for a season if he’s made available. If Riedewald can get competitive first-team football to return to Selhurst a more mature player next year, it’s win-win for everyone.