Sunderland parted with a substantial amount of money in order to get Chelsea defender Patrick van Aanholt during the summer. The 23-year-old Dutchman had failed to secure a regular first-team spot at Chelsea. Despite having been at Chelsea since 2007 at various forms of playing levels, he had made only two Premier League appearances for the West London outfit. He has been on loan at various clubs like Coventry City, Newcastle United, Leicester City, and Wigan Athletic during this period. However, his loan spell with Vitesse Arnhem last season has been the most productive.
He made 34 appearances and scored five goals in all competitions for the Dutch outfit and this earned him a place in the professional 30 man squad for the World Cup 2014. Even though he did not make it into the final squad chosen by the Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, this has been seen as a remarkable improvement by the 23-year-old. However, Chelsea decided not to keep him for much longer and sold him to Sunderland for an undisclosed transfer fee. Since joining the north-east outfit, the defender has had a mixed time. Even though he has featured in most of the matches, he was at fault for a few goals scored by the opposition.
Manager Gus Poyet has said that he is a player who needs time to settle at the club. “There’s things he needs to do all the time and that’s the mentality we create in training. In one training session a week ago, I stopped it because of Patrick and said ‘here, every day, every single ball, whether you are ill or not’. He needs to get into that mentality and it takes time. Some people get it in two days, some take three months,” said the Sunderland boss, whose team were defeated 1-0 at QPR last weekend.