JOHN HEITINGA believes he could be playing the best football of his career at Everton – as the Dutch international urges the Blues to finish the season with a flourish.
The 28-year-old has been one of the side’s outstanding performers this year and in the second half of the campaign cemented his position at the heart of the back four.
Heitinga has endured an inconsistent career at Goodison Park since signing from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2009 but has established himself as one of the leading centre halves in the Premier League this term.
The World Cup finalist’s progress was highlighted when his selection for the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Wembley also doubled as his 100th appearance for Everton and now Heitinga is amongst the leading contenders to pick up the club’s Player of the Year accolade, as voted for by the fans.
But Heitinga feels there is still plenty for him to offer and believes the Everton faithful are yet to see his best form.
“I think this is my best season for Everton so far and I hope I can keep the level up,” he said.
“It is one of my better seasons – maybe my best as a professional – but I am only 28 and there are many years to come. I am only looking forward.”
“We can’t play football without the fans and I am happy to hear (they are voting for me) as that is a big trophy.
“The players’ vote is coming and I can’t say who I will vote for. That is a secret.”
Heitinga gave up the Champions League football with Atletico to join Everton in a £6m deal two-and-a-half years ago and recently revealed his desire to play in Europe with the Blues.
Having played club football in Holland as well as Spain, Heitinga believes the Premier League is the strongest division in the world and relishes games such as Sunday’s 4-4 thriller with Manchester United.
“These games are the reason I came to play here in the best league in the world,” he added.
“The season is not over, there are four games to play and we want to surprise some teams and finish high up the league.
“There are 12 points to play for and we want as many as we can get.”
Marouane Fellaini, who scored in the game at Old Trafford last weekend, has revealed his disappointment that Everton were unable summon a similar level of performance eight days earlier at Wembley against the Reds.
“Last week was difficult,” said Fellaini.
“But if the team played against Liverpool like they did against United we could have won.
“Last week, in the first half we played well, but we had no energy in the second and no fight to win.”