PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Patrick van Aanholt of Chelsea during the Pre Season Friendly match between Portsmouth and Chelsea at Fratton Park on July 16, 2011 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
Both Chelsea FC and Wigan Athletic have now confirmed that young left back Patrick van Aanholt will spend the 2011/12 season on loan with the Latics at the DW Stadium, with Roberto Martinez claiming that the 20-year-old would be able to fit in with Wigan at left back and left wing-back:
Patrick is a player with enormous potential. Technically he is very gifted, very comfortable in possession and physically, he uses his intensity to defend very effectively. He can play left back or left wing back position and without a doubt he's got a phenomenal career ahead of him and I hope he can settle in Wigan really quickly and start enjoying his football as a Latics player.
-Source: Yahoo Eurosport.
I'm not really sure where the 'defend very effectively' comes from, but I'm sure good old van Aanholt will disabuse Martinez of that notion before too long. All we really want for van Aanholt is to get some time, though - he's already a fantastic attacking fullback and just needs playing time to iron out the massive wrinkle that is his defensive game. Whether he'll get that or not at Wigan is an open question, but you'd have to imagine that Chelsea have done their homework and gotten the proper assurances before packing off one of their better prospects to spend a year away.