“When Gary Cahill starts speaking, we all listen,” he told Premier League Productions. “The man has won everything – what a great career he’s had.
“He’s a great, great leader. He’s won the Champions League, the Europa League, he won the Premier League with Chelsea. When he starts speaking, everyone listens.”
Van Aanholt also praised the community feeling around the club, which he says started the moment he put pen to paper on his contract.
“From the moment I signed here, I felt welcomed into the family,” he said. “I want to carry on that family feeling. Hopefully I’ll stay here for many more years. I knew a couple of players already when I first signed, so that helped me when coming into the team.
“We all have our own characters, but we all laugh together and we all work together. We fight sometimes but that’s part of a team. You can fight as long as you make up. As long as everybody performs on the Saturday or the Sunday, that’s all that matters.
“We all have the same mentality on the pitch. Once we step on the pitch, we know what our gameplan is.”
After a season in front of empty stands, Van Aanholt is keen to play in front of a packed Selhurst Park once again.
“The fans are brilliant – they are great,” he said. “We’re not the biggest club, but we’re all together and that’s what I like.
“They are everything. Without them there is no Crystal Palace. We need the fans – hopefully they can return to the stadium soon to cheer us up again.”