Van Aanholt has played at left-back for Sunderland all season, but since Sam Allardyce has taken charge he has been given a new lease of life.
The former Chelsea defender has proven to be one of the Black Cats’ most threatening attacking players in recent weeks.
And Cottee said: “He’s scored a few goals and he likes to get forward. He does give them another dimension. Sam has done brilliantly since he’s gone in there. I still expect them to get out of this.”
Van Aanholt has been a hugely important player for Sunderland this campaign, and he has provided some key goals and assists.
The 25-year-old has scored four goals and claimed two assists in 22 Premier League appearances to date.
Although he still remains slightly vulnerable defensively, his energy is an integral part of Allardyce’s tactic - and provides Sunderland with a great attacking outlet.
The Black Cats will be looking for Van Aanholt to continue his fine form, as they aim to break out of the relegation zone.
Sunderland are currently in 19th place in the Premier League table, but they are only one point away from safety.