Johnny Heitinga the Marmite player
Love him or hate him – Johnny Heitinga is a man that splits Everton opinions depending on which month it is. Last season’s player of the year has been by and large woeful this season. With rumours of Fenerbahce being interested again, we take a look at the dutchman’s Everton career.
John Heitinga was signed by David Moyes for £6.2m after a fairly uninspiring season at right back with Atletico Madrid. He was a Dutch international, who had already made 152 appearances for Ajax of Amsterdam.
In his time at Everton Heitinga has been deployed at right back, defensive midfield and centre back. He isn’t blessed with pace, so struggles at right back and he isn’t a natural midfielder so he looked poor in midfield (especially when he wasn’t fit) and often when he has been deployed at centre back it has taken him a run in the team to look decent. Heitinga is decent at passing and also has a very good long range pass on him.
Last season he got a decent run in the team and looked an excellent player. His positioning was strong and he excelled in Phil Jagielka’s absence. He marshalled the defence superbly and his partnership with Distin looked solid. There have always been doubts in Evertonians minds though and comments about leaving the club have never been far away leading to negativity amongst supporters and recent speculation about hinting he was leaving in a nannys advert have heightened speculation.
Let’s get this right, Heitinga is actually a decent player. Lots of fans don’t give him the credit he deserves, technically he is decent on the ball and positionally he is okay also. BUT and it’s a big BUT, is he the kind of player we need? By that, I mean, this is a Dutch international that is on a hefty wage (reported to be £65k per week) who doesn’t guarantee a place in the side and in all honesty doesn’t want to be at the club (Lots of stories that his agent has been looking to move him on, but his wages are proving a problem).
It’s likely that we won’t get a very good transfer fee for Heitinga; infact we’d be lucky to get half of the £6m that we paid for him as his wages are that high. We could keep him, but would Johnny be happy with a place on the bench? For him to perform he needs a run in the team and even with a new manager, they will likely look to shift him on to free up some wages.
Pro’s of Heitinga Staying
- Decent defender
- Technically strong
- Dutch international
- Able to cover a few positions
- We probably can’t command a high transfer fee due to the size of his current wages
Pro’s of Heitinga going
- Only plays well after a run of games
- Was this years fans scapegoat
- He talks about leaving the club often
- Heitinga is on high wages
- Do we need one of the clubs highest earners as cover
- He has a lack of pace and maybe isn’t suited to English football
- Possible swap deal with a decent young Ajax defender
I like Heitinga, I think he is a decent player (unless not fit or played out of position) but I think we are fairly well covered in defence (Distin, Jagielka and Duffy) and this area of the field shouldn’t be one of our top earners at the club.
I think ‘Tinga will move on this summer and Fenerbahce seem intent on signing the player and this would be a very good option. There is also the potential of going back to Holland with Ajax and a potential swap deal could happen with a player such as Toby Alderweireld.
If he does stay, it could prove fruitful with a new manager with new ideas and I wouldn’t be opposed to this, but I think this is the year that Heitinga’s agent finally gets his player the move.
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