This week's cover star and main interview for the Crystal Palace v Arsenal matchday programme is Jaïro Riedewald, with the 23-year-old giving an honest interview on his time at Palace in which he reveals he had previously asked to go out on loan. Check out the below snippet from our versatile Dutchman's interview.
“I live in south east London. I am happy here. When I drive to the club I am always arriving with a smile, I am happy to be here. I am not angry at this club. I enjoy London, it’s a big city. I still haven’t seen everything. But I think it when I drive and I am looking out the window I see so many events or restaurants and things I’d love to do. It’s a little bit similar to where I am from, Amsterdam, but it is just 10 times bigger!”
Arriving as a 19-year-old, Riedewald’s decision to keep his head down, remain focussed and committed to Palace in any capacity he was required is admirable. It is optimised by his decision to stop returning home to the Netherlands, he reveals: “I used to go home a lot in my first year. But after that I thought it was better to stay here more, get my own house and learn the language more.”
The next revelation from Riedewald is one that we struggled to comprehend: “I never had English lessons. I just picked up the language watching Netflix and movies. I have an older brother and he used to watch a lot of American and black-comedy movies and I started learning from there.
“Game of Thrones helped a lot.” Talk then strays to the TV show itself and you can sense Wilfried Zaha and Riedewald have spent more than a few hours on the long away day journeys discussing the HBO show: “The last season they were hyping it up and they just lost it. Wilf loves it as well, we talk about it. It’s more of a lifestyle because you get so involved in the families.”
The final season of Game of Thrones was adapted from the novels: The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. For Riedewald, the dreams of spring are very much here, and requests for a loan deal are now confined to yesteryear’s wintry winds.
Supporters can read the rest of Riedewald's interview and much more in the digital version of the Palace v Arsenal programme for just £1.99 by clicking here now! Alternatively, pick up a hard copy of the programme today from vendors around Selhurst Park for just £3.50!