Van Aanholt: It was time to start afresh

Patrick van Aanholt takes down the ball on his Sunderland debut against Nacional last night
Patrick van Aanholt takes down the ball on his Sunderland debut against Nacional last night
Have your say

SUNDERLAND new boy Patrick van Aanholt says it was time he laid down fresh roots after spending the bulk of the last five years out on loan.

Van Aanholt made his first Sunderland appearance in last night’s 1-0 friendly defeat to CD Nacional here in Portugal after arriving in a £1.5million deal from Chelsea last week.

The left-back had been limited to just eight outings for Chelsea after coming through the ranks at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Coventry, Newcastle, Leicester and Wigan before spending the last two-and-a-half years with hometown club Vitesse Arnhem.

But, as he entered the final 12 months of his contract with Jose Mourinho’s side, van Aanholt felt he could not afford another loan move and decided it was time to leave permanently.

The 23-year-old told the Echo: “At Chelsea, I didn’t have the feeling that I was going to get the chance this year, so I said I’ll move on.

“I didn’t want to go on loan anymore because you can only go on loan so many times.

“It was time to move on, find a club where I could stay for a few years and show what I can do.

“I’ve come to Sunderland and I’m very happy to sign a contract for four years.

“I’m looking forwards to the rest of the season.

“I could have stayed in Holland. I had a couple of options there and in Germany, but I wanted to stay in the Prem.

“I’ve been on loan everywhere, but I wanted to show people what I’m capable of in the Premier League and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Van Aanholt completed more than 80 minutes last night as Sunderland’s 100 per cent pre-season record came to an end after conceding at the death against the Portugese top flight outfit.

But it was a pleasing contribution for the Dutch international, who demonstrated that he was not lagging behind the fitness levels of his new team-mates.

“We’ve been training very hard and I got more than 80 minutes last night, which was fantastic,” he added.

“I feel like I’ve fitted in well, done a good job and can look forwards to the next game.

“I did a fitness test and I was fit enough.

“I had trained before in pre-season with Chelsea, so I was relatively fit. It’s been no problem at all.”