Craig Burley backs Everton's reported pursuit of Patrick van Aanholt

Patrick van Aanholt of Crystal Palace and Juan Mata of Manchester United compete for the ball  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford...

Everton have been linked with a man who Sam Allardyce knows well.

Patrick van Aanholt of Sunderlandvies with Nordin Amrabat of Watford during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Watford at Stadium of Light on December 17, 2016 in Sunderland,...

Craig Burley has told ESPN that he believes the Sam Allardyce factor could see Everton sign Patrick van Aanholt in January.

The Mirror reported this week that the new Everton boss has included the 27-year-old in his winter wishlist after working with him on two previous occasions.

Allardyce managed Van Aanholt at Sunderland and then spent £14 million on taking him to Selhurst Park following his appointment at Crystal Palace 12 months ago.

Patrick van Aanholt of Crystal Palace applauds supporters after his side's 0-4 defeat in the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on September...

And Burley believes that the former Chelsea youth could join up with his old manager for a third time.

He told ESPN: "Well I think this is something that could happen, primarily because Allardyce has worked with him at Crystal Palace, and only for that reason am I going to say that this could potentially happen.

"I've no idea if Allardyce will bring him in but he has worked with the player so that could happen."

Patrick van Aanholt of Crystal Palace and Juan Mata of Manchester United compete for the ball  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford...

Right-back Cuco Martina has been plugging gaps on the left-hand side of defence in recent weeks after Leighton Baines suffered a knee injury.

Even if Baines was fit, the Toffees probably still need an upgrade. He turns 33 next Monday and is less reliable for the Goodison Park club than he once was.

Whether or not Allardyce goes for Van Aanholt remains to be seen, but a left-back should be among the priorities in January.

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