BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Crystal Palace left-back Patrick Van Aanholt faces on extended absence from the side after dislocating his shoulder in the 2-0 defeat at home last night to Manchester United.
The Dutch defender fell awkwardly after Anthony Martial doubled United’s lead in the 81st minute, requiring lengthy treatment on the pitch, including gas and air, before leaving on a stretcher.
“It’s a bad injury and it’s going to keep him out for a long period of time,” said Palace manager Roy Hodgson.
“They’ll look at it and find out what the next step is going to be for him, but I fear it’s going to be quite an operation. It’s really bad news for us, as Patrick has been really solid for us this season and has had a good season [where] he has hardly missed any games.”
With the 2020-21 Premier League season set to start on September 12, following the completion of this season on July 26, the close season this year will be half the amount of time than usual.
And according to Hodgson, this will mean that he will have to fill in the left-back position with a longer-term solution – although he does have options in a small, and injury-ravaged squad with Jairo Riedewald, Jeffrey Schlupp, Martin Kelly and academy prospect Tyrick Mitchell all with experience playing in the position.
“It looks like we might be starting next season without him,” he said. “We have options but obviously we are patching up a lot of positions at the moment.
“There was a point [earlier] this season where we were really short of players, but Jairo Riedewald went in when Patrick was injured and did well so we’re just going to have to keep doing that.
“But we can’t keep plucking players out of thin air and we can’t keep replacing the ones that do go down injured by going out into the transfer market and buying other players like some clubs do.
“Yet the people who have been brought in to patch up those positions have actually done very well, so, really and truly we’ve done it in the past.”
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