Life long Everton fan Oliver Thompson gives his views on what has gone wrong for defender John heitinga over the last 12 months as he looks set to leave the club.

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heitinga bHaving watched John Heitinga put his neck on the line in the name of Everton over the course of the 2011/12 season, it is baffling to see the change of circumstances that has befallen him over the last 12 months. His form since joining Everton in 2009 has been largely patchy but in the season before last he was phenomenal and was even voted player of the season by the fans. Now though, heading into the final year of his contract, he is on his way out the clubs and many fans will not be complaining.

What went wrong for John? Many Everton fans will agree with me when I say that it was a mixture of things that seemed to spell the end for John at Everton. The first simply being a string of poor performances throughout the season that lost him a lot of support from the Goodison faithful, notably a dismal performance against Aston Villa when he was bullied by an in-form Christian Benteke before being substituted to a chorus of boos. He has also been the victim of his teammates good form, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka have been unbeatable at the back for large parts of the season and he has only been afforded first team opportunities by virtue of injury to either of the first choice centre backs.

He also, through seemingly no fault of his own, lost his place at the very start of the season (a move which many fans questioned at the time) and began to lose patience with David Moyes, which began to signal that he might leave the club. It was well documented that he was seemingly set to leave the club last summer but such a move failed to materialise, another thing that can unsettle any player.

At this point Everton fans will be grateful for any fee that the club receives for Heitinga, as it is well known that the club is in a difficult position financially and the money will be greatly needed in the clubs desire to reinvest in a small squad. He also commands a large wage, which many are desperate to have off the wage bill in order to attract a different type of player. His wages, though, are likely to be the biggest stumbling block in any potential move away from the club, especially to a club like Ajax, so unless he is prepared to take a significant wage cut we could see the saga drag on throughout the season.

Despite the fact that many Everton fans will not be sad to see him leave this summer, he has left us with some good memories and we will all wish him well for the future where ever he ends up. While it may not be the most high profile transfer saga of the summer, it is sure to be one of the most interesting.

Oliver Thompson (1 Posts)