After days of speculation, Crystal Palace have finally announced the signing of young, Ajax defender Jaïro Riedewald for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £8million. The 20-year-old signed a five year deal with the Eagles and will immediately begin training with his teammates who’ve just returned from a preseason tournament in Hong Kong.
Jaïro Riedewald Signs for Palace
Frank de Boer has successfully raided his old club in order to pull this one off. Losing Mamadou Sakho, due to the end of his loan period, has once again sent Palace scrambling for defensive reinforcements. With Scott Dann struggling to stay healthy through last season and the inconsistency of both Damien Delaney and James Tomkins, de Boer knew where the money had to be spent. Having given Riedewald his debut in 2013, de Boer was already aware of the type of defender he was signing.
What to Expect
Although he’ll be a strong reinforcement to Palace’s backline, he’s a different sort of central defender than what the club has been used to in recent years. As de Boer looks to incorporate a more possession-based style of play into the side, he’s added a defender who can certainly help make that happen. Riedewald is good with the ball at his feet boasting both pace and agility. His versatility will leave de Boer having to make a decision whether to play him at the center of defense, in the left-back position or even in that holding midfielder spot. With Luka Milivojević probably the first-choice in that position, the latter is unlikely.
Along with his versatility, Riedewald’s short and long passing skills will be important in getting the ball out of dangerous areas and from which attacking play can commence. He’s not scared to get forward and join in the attack, but he needs to be careful not to get caught out. The left-footed Dutchman has a long career ahead of him, and, having come through the ranks at Ajax, this will be a very new and important experience for Riedewald.
Both Bruno Martins Indi and Calum Chambers have been heavily linked with the Eagles so further signings look likely. Despite Riedewald’s arrival, the addition of another center back seems to be on the top of de Boer’s wish list.