Crystal Palace have signed Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt on a four-and-a-half year deal.
Palace have reportedly parted with £14m in order to reunite van Aanholt with ex-Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce.
The 26-year-old Dutch international played a key role in helping Sunderland retain their Premier League status under Allardyce last season, and with the Eagles currently right in the thick of the relegation scrap, will a combination of Big Sam and PVA create the same recipe for survival at Selhurst Park?
The former England manager is certainly hopeful that he and his new left-back can rectify last season’s successful escape, telling Crystal Palace’s official website: “I am delighted that Patrick has joined us.
“We had great success together at Sunderland where he was instrumental in keeping them in the Premier League last season.
“He will add pace and energy to our team, has strong defensive qualities and has the added ability to score and create goals.”
Lying down in 18th place and with only one Premier League point in Allardyce’s first five league fixtures in charge of the Eagles, Big Sam will be hoping that Van Aanholt’s impact is instant.
The Dutchman could make his Palace debut for their vital mid-week trip to Bournemouth, while his first appearance at Selhurst Park could see him face former club Sunderland in what is set to be a huge relegation six-pointer.
Since arriving on Wearside for £1.5m from Chelsea in 2014, Van Aanholt has grown accustomed to the pressure of a relegation dogfight. Sunderland sealed survival with one match to spare in both 2014/15 (under Dick Advocaat) and 2015/16 (under Allardyce), so Crystal Palace’s current situation should not faze the Dutchman.
He proved a crucial asset to Allardyce’s Black Cats last term, ending the 2015/16 campaign as Sunderland’s second most prolific goal-scorer, despite playing at left-back.
Under David Moyes, the ex-Chelsea defender’s form in front of goal has continued where it left off, hitting the back of the net three times for the Wearside club. He is currently joint-second in Sunderland’s list of Top Scorers with summer signing Victor Anichebe; only the clinical Jermain Defoe has scored more in 2016/17 for Moyes’ boys than Van Aanholt.
Can Patrick van Aanholt use his experience of survival to help Crystal Palace beat the drop?