Johnny Heitinga has welcomed the notion of playing alongside compatriot and former foil Royston Drenthe at Everton, following the completion of the Dutchman's season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.

The two players have played against each other in some big derby matches - starting on opposite sides in games between Ajax and Feyenoord, and Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, during their time at former clubs.

Heitinga suggests that he will not be the only player to benefit from Drenthe's arrival, and says he could be the catalyst for a morale-boosting home victory if he is handed a debut this weekend.

"He is a young player with a lot of skills and I am looking forward to playing with him," Heitinga told evertontv. "He has not played too much football in the past two years but he is a talented player.

"He has the power, speed and everything else you need to do well – he is a good signing for Everton.


 

 "He needs to show it on the pitch now but he is a strong lad and hopefully he can do well for us, because we need him."

The undoubted quality that Drenthe will bring to Goodison Park can help inspire the Blues to a strong start to the season, and Heitinga insists he is up for the challenge.

"I spoke to him earlier and he is happy to be here and looking forward to playing for Everton," he continued.

"So far we [as a team] have not been at our best. But this is a good match for us – a home game and one we need to win. Our first two games were not our best and even at Blackburn, we won, but we were not good.

"But let's start now. Let's get a good result against Villa and get going."

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