John Heitinga began his career at Ajax in his native Holland in 2001 and he went on to make more than 150 appearances for the Dutch giants and won two Eredivisie titles. Atletico Madrid then spent big in an £8.8million transfer to take Heitinga to Spain in 2008. Everton duly watched his impressive displays in La Liga and subsequently spent £6m to secure his signature after just one year with Atletico. Heitinga went on to make just less than 100 league starts for Everton, where his versatility to also play in midfield made him an initial success under David Moyes. He was also named the Player of the Year at Goodison Park in 2012 before losing his place in the team. Heitinga, though, is perhaps best known for being sent off in Holland's defeat by Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.
"I am really pleased to get the move completed and I am looking forward to playing my first game. I think it is a good move for myself and I am looking forward to meeting my team-mates. I have spoken already with Rene Meulensteen and I think it is the right club for me."
Roberto Martinez: "He goes with our best wishes and we hope that everything goes well and as planned. We hope that he can get into Holland's World Cup squad. He has been a terrific servant for Everton."
Heitinga is versatile and a definite upgrade on Philippe Senderos, whose move from Fulham to Valencia made room for the deal. He is powerful, has superb experience and reads the game very well to avoid diving into tackles, which suggests he will be an excellent signing. Manager Meulensteen was busy overhauling his squad on deadline day and Heitinga can be a vital addition while the player himself will be desperate to have a good second half of the season in a World Cup year.
Inconsistency saw Heitinga lose his place in the Everton team, plus he has a habit of playing long balls which gift possession back to the opposition. He is another player in the Fulham squad who is the wrong side of 30 years old, which will do little to remove the Craven Cottage club's 'Dad's Army' tag. If his experience does not prove useful, it will be seen as a bad signing.
Heitinga lost his place in the Everton team for a reason but he will be keen to prove a point at Fulham and a player with the experience of playing in a World Cup final, regardless of his dismissal, must be viewed as a bonus in a relegation scrap. Fulham have had a good deadline day.
What is your verdict on the signing of John Heitinga?