Sunderland boss hits back at Patrick van Aanholt following Crystal Palace defender's criticism

van Aanholt joined Crystal Palace in January

van Aanholt joined Crystal Palace in January

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David Moyes has insisted that it was Sunderland's decision to sell Patrick van Aanholt in January, after the Dutchman said this week that he forced through a move.

The left-back signed for Crystal Palace in a deal worth around £14 million, and added at the time that he had eyed a reunion with Sam Allardyce ever since the former Black Cats boss returned to the Premier League.

He also claimed his new Eagles team-mates were superior to the Sunderland squad he departed, just days before the Black Cats won 4-0 at Selhurst Park.

The 26-year-old then criticised Moyes in an interview this week, saying: "I did not enjoy David Moyes' training sessions,

"Eventually I lost my love for the game, and went into the dressing-room feeling annoyed every day.

"When Sunderland turned down an offer for me from Crystal Palace I went to see Moyes in his office three or four times.

"I was angry. I told him: 'Accept Palace’s bid and just let me leave - it is the best thing for all concerned.'

"But he said that he wanted to keep hold of me."

Moyes poured cold water over those claims and hinted at other issues behind the move.

He said: "I was disappointed with Patrick’s comments. I manage 20/30 players, every day of the week, I don’t expect every player to enjoy every minute of the training. But it was our decision to let Pat go and I wouldn’t really want to give the real reasons why Patrick left the club, and I think if you wanted to find out you could ask Patrick himself."

Van Aanholt was Sunderland's joint second top scorer in the Premier League this season but Moyes on occasions called on him to improve his defending, leaving him out of the side in October and admitting that he and his coaching staff had to 'dig him out' at times.

The Dutchman was one of the reasons Moyes moved to a back five on occasions, hoping that the 26-year-old would thrive in a wing-back berth with greater defensive protection behind him.

That experiment had mixed results, van Aanholt woeful in his final appearance for the Black Cats, the 2-0 defeat to West Brom at the Hawthorns in January.

Moyes also criticised van Aanholt in September last year after the left-back was pictured smoking a shisha pipe.