Currently in Leeds United’s U21s, many of the weekly Elland Road faithful may not be overly aware of Dani van den Heuvel.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper has been at the club since August of 2020, when he joined the Championship side from Ajax Amsterdam on a free.
He has yet to make a professional appearance for Leeds, playing for the U18s and the U21s instead, and Omroep West on Monday in the Netherlands provide some background to his development.
Van den Heuvel was initially found by ADO Den Haag, where two men, Willen van Maaren and Klaas Krul, were told to go looking for goalkeepers with ‘height and bravado’.
That class, when they first arrived, had ‘four talented goalkeepers’ at their disposal, and Ajax eventually took notice of Van den Heuvel.
Goalkeeping coach Raymond Mulder explained: “Van den Heuvel wanted to make the switch to Ajax, so there was nothing to be done. We gave him the basics and let him go. It does’t surprise me that he is now at Leeds United. Technically speaking, he was perhaps the best of the four at the time.”
Van den Heuvel has a contract with Leeds United until 2024, meaning this could be his last chance to impress Daniel Farke.
If not, it will either have to be a renewal for the young shot stopper, or a chance to look elsewhere if his deal expires.