Leeds United: Setback in race for Crystal Palace star

Patrick van Aanholt and Eberechi Eze

Galatasaray have offered Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt a three-year deal to join them this summer, as reported by the Daily Mail.

This is a potential blow for Leeds, who have been linked with the full-back in recent weeks as his contract approaches its expiry.

The Premier League outfit find themselves at a significant disadvantage in this respect, as Galatasaray are allowed to make an offer to van Aanholt now due to being a foreign club.

Legally, Leeds can't discuss a pre-contract with the Dutchman until the summer.

Van Aanholt's price-tag and salary:

The 30-year-old is out of contract at Selhurst Park at the end of the season, and talks over a new contract are reportedly stalling. If his situation remains unchanged, van Aanholt will be available on a free transfer in July.

He is currently earning £55,000-a-week at the South London club. The Galatasaray offer is believed to include a significant pay rise, though.

Statistics:

After missing the opening four league games of the season with a shoulder problem, van Aanholt has made 18 top-flight appearances this season.

As per WhoScored, he has averaged 1.3 interceptions per game in the league this term - only Joel Ward and Nathaniel Clyne have better numbers in this category. Meanwhile, he has managed 0.6 key passes per game - a higher mark than any other regular defender in Roy Hodgson's side.

Expert opinion: 

Van Aanholt has re-established himself as Palace's starting left-back over the past month, and has impressed former Eagles striker Kevin Phillips.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, Phillips urged Leeds to sign van Aanholt this summer if they get the opportunity.

He said: “He’s showed he’s assured in a specialised position that he knows very well. We all know Leeds will be looking at that area this summer.

“He’s very good going forward which Bielsa will like. At times he gets caught out defensively but you can get away with that when you’re playing with Kalvin Phillips.

“That could be a signing that will go under the radar but prove to be a very good addition."

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Verdict:

Losing out on van Aanholt would be disappointing for Leeds. The experienced defender's willingness to join in attacks whenever he can appears to suit the club's style down to a tee.

Marcelo Bielsa has largely used Ezgjan Alioski as a left-back throughout the current campaign. The North Macedonian international has done a decent job but his contract expires in the summer, and he is yet to sign a new deal.

If Alioski does leave, van Aanholt seemed to be the ideal replacement to fill this position.

However, Leeds look to be in real danger of missing the boat with van Aanholt, which could mean that they have to turn their attentions elsewhere in the coming weeks.

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