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Former Everton star Johnny Heitinga signs for Hertha Berlin

Fulham Craven Cottage

Johnny Heitinga has left Fulham after only six months to sign for Hertha Berlin.

As reported on the official Bundesliga website, the 30-year old defender signed a two-year deal with the Berlin based club, with an option for a third season, arriving on a free transfer from recently relegated Fulham.

The Dutch international, who has been capped 87 times for his country - with his last appearance coming in 2013 - joined Fulham in January 2014 - having made just one appearance for Everton since the arrival of new manager Roberto Martinez in the summer of 2013.

He played 14 times for the Cottagers, as they failed to survive in the Premier League, and in May it was confirmed that he would be released from the club at the end of his contract.

A move to Hertha has been met with much enthusiasm by the player, who spoke to the Bundesliga website of his desire to play in the German division.

He said: "I was desperate to play in the Bundesliga, that's why I'm really looking forward to playing for Hertha. I'm looking forward to meeting the team and their terrific fans."

Hertha's sporting director Michael Preetz held a similar view of the transfer, claiming that the capture of Heitinga will help the club in both the short and long term.

"John Heitinga is a defender with international experience, from whom our younger players in particular will learn a lot," Preetz said.

Heitinga came through the highly rated youth ranks at AFC Ajax, playing for the club for seven years before moving to Atletico Madrid and then Everton. His five year spell with the Toffees saw him feature 115 times, culminating in being awarded Everton's Player of the Season award in 2012.

In the course of his international career, he was part of the Netherlands squad which reached the 2010 World Cup Final - during which he suffered the ignominy of being sent off, as the Dutch suffered defeat to the dominant Spaniards.

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