“Heitinga is definitely not happy with what is happening at Everton and we don’t hide that. He is looking at a solution. When an appropriate situation arises for a transfer, we will certainly not ignore it.”
It is a pretty rapid descent from grace for the former Atletico Madrid player as just last season he was voted the clubs player of the year after an imperious season for The Toffees. This season however Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka have remained fit and that has seen them both force the 29-year-old into watching from the bench.
Last weekend he was absent entirely; stoking the flames in the rumour mill that he was on the verge of an exit from Merseyside (despite the official reasoning being a knock). Everton are not a team blessed with finances and the sale of Heitinga could be extremely profitable for the club; especially when you consider he is one of the highest paid players at the club.
Everton are reluctant to sell right now due to the on-going contract negotiations with Distin but they could receive a fair chunk of money for a potential sale. While he has been linked with a move to Germany, Italy and a return to Spain could he stay in the Premier League?
Let’s not forget this is a player with 85 caps for the Dutch national side who can also play a variety positions in defence in midfield.
So where could he end up?
Alan Pardew’s side could really do with someone of Heitinga’s class and positional dexterity right now. He could join fellow Oranje internationals Vurnon Anita and Tim Krul at the club and even if Fabricio Coloccini does stay at the club this is certainly an avenue the Toon should investigate.
On the face of it is seems unlikely as his motive for leaving Everton seems to be a lack of first-team football; something he would not be assured of at The Etihad. However he could add depth to a defence struggling with injury prone Micah Richards, out of favour Joleon Lescott and the ever decreasing talent of Kolo Toure. Could be a chance to pick up some silverware in the UK.
Starting to get too far-fetched? Perhaps not. He certainly possesses the qualities that Laudrup would be wanting and will not be commanding to hefty a price-tag. He would become a regular at The Liberty and The Swansea are in real contention when it comes to a European berth next season. Laudrup has already convinced some coveted players to choose South Wales; could Heitinga be another?
Nicky Barmby, Abel Xavier, Johnny Heitinga? Liverpool are planning to let Sebastian Coates on his way and Jamie Carragher is starting to show his age in his brief cameos. Could they raid their rivals for a quality defensive addition?
Where do you think Heitinga could end up?
image: © crystiancruz