Former Everton defender John Heitinga has returned to his former club Ajax after a short spell with German outfit Hertha Berlin.
The Dutchman is widely known for his exploits with the Dutch national team at the 2010 World Cup when they almost won the title. He played in the final against Spain that was narrowly lost by the Dutch. Since that game, however, his career at club level has been on a downhill. He has since left Everton and joined Berlin. He spent only one season in German football where he played 13 games for the club. There was also an intermediate spell with Fulham.
Faced by a lot of injuries as he approaches the final years of his career, Heitinga has decided to return to the place where it all began for him as a professional footballer. The 31-year-old started his career with Ajax in 2001. After representing the Dutch team for seven seasons, he joined Atletico Madrid in 2008. Apart from the spell with Ajax, he is best known for his time in Merseyside with Everton where he went on to make more than 100 appearances during the regime of David Moyes. The exit of the Scot made it difficult for him to impress new boss Roberto Martinez.
He has now signed a one-year contract with Ajax and it could possibly be extended depending upon his fitness levels. He will team up with Frank de Boer, who has been linked with a managerial job in England. The major task for Heitinga will be to make Ajax a major force in the Dutch Eredivisie. The team suffered a disappointing 2014-15 season after finishing a whopping 17 points behind winners PSV Eindhoven. The addition of Heitinga brings quality to Ajax, who open the season with a tough game against AZ Alkmaar away from home.