The beginning of Heitinga’s career.
Heitinga was part of the Ajax youth setup as well as many other players on the Ajax team. He was 17 years old when he made his debut for the first team in Ajax on 26th of August 2001 against Feyenoord Rotterdam. Heitinga can play many places in the field, central defender, right-back and defensive midfielder, so he is a very all round player. He quickly established himself as an important player on the team.
Heitinga and injuries.
Heitinga was a strong addition to the team and he became first-choice player under Coach Co Adriaanse and later Ronald Koeman. He was the first choice until he suffered an injury with his knee, and the injury kept him on the side line for six month. He had a very short comeback caused by the fact that he was injured again after one game, and this injury sentenced him to a very long break from football to recover from the injury.
He made his second comeback at the start of the 2003-04 season. He impressed everyone in the first game and from there on he was the first-choice central defender for the rest of the season.
Heitinga had developed fine as a player until the 2004-05 season, where his development suffered the first dip and again in the 2005-06 season. In these seasons there were an unstable situation at his club and this situation had an impact on him. The club had inconsistency in results and changes in management and this was a disturbance for him.
After these two seasons his development went forward again, and he is now moving to Atlético Madrid for a fee of €10 million.