Everton Defender Johnny Heitinga May Be Forced To Leave In January

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Everton defender Johnny Heitinga has admitted that he may be forced to leave the club during the January transfer window in order to safeguard his place in the Dutch national team, Sky Sports reports.

The 29-year-old has made just two appearances for Everton under new manager Roberto Martinez this season, both of them coming in the Capital One Cup.

The ex-Atletico Madrid man was left out of Holland’s provisional squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with Hungary and Turkey and he is worried that he will miss out on being included in Louis Van Gaal’s plans for the World Cup next summer if he is not playing regularly.

With Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin confirmed as the first-choice central defensive partnership for Everton at the moment, Heitinga looks to have a challenge ahead of him to break into the team.

A summer departure for Heitinga had looked a possibility at points during the previous transfer window, and he now admits he considered several options before taking the risk to fight for his place at Goodison Park.

“I took a risk by staying at Everton,” Heitinga told Voetbal International. “I had a few options to move in August, but they were not interesting enough.

“But maybe something will happen for me in January. Everton know I will be a free agent next summer.

“I want to get back into the Holland team. Everyone knows how Van Gaal picks his players – on the basis of how much playing time they get for their clubs.

“At the moment I’m not in contention to be selected.

“Roberto Martinez has said Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin are his first-choice central defenders. It is good to have clarity.

“But it’s going to be a big task for me to get back into the first team.”

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