Van Aanholt left Chelsea last summer, but he is not frustrated to have missed out on a title-winning campaign, at Stamford Bridge as he feels that his time at Sunderland has been very productive.
The full-back says that he left west London because he was desperate to play first-team football and has been delighted to see the Black Cats show so much faith in him.
“I wanted to play games, that’s why I left Chelsea. I’ve had the opportunity to do that," he said. "I was unlucky with my injury (a dislocated shoulder), but apart from that I’ve played in all the matches, and that’s why I came here.
"I’m happy with the way this season has panned out for me personally."
Van Aanholt played 33 times for Sunderland over the course of the campaign and his performances were largely encouraging.
Although the left-back still has some areas where he needs to develop, his pace and ability going forward made him an exciting player to watch.
Van Aanholt will now be hoping that he can kick on next season, where he will be looking to use the lessons he has learned during his first campaign, which has thrown him in at the deep end.
Sunderland had to battle against relegation for much of season and will be determined to avoid a similarly nerve-wracking adventure in 2015/16.