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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has vowed to do the best he can for the future of defender John Heitinga.

The Dutch international has been linked with a January move away from Goodison Park in recent weeks and speaking at his press conference on Monday, Martinez said: "Johnny has been an incredible professional. Since day one he has been a big influence in the way that we wanted to work on a daily basis.

"Johnny is a top footballer and we can understand. If he doesn't play many minutes, we'll try to see if we can help him in January.

"Ideally I would like him to start playing and having a big role on the pitch. So far he has been very influential off the pitch and sometimes the fans don't see that side.

"He comes in every day and always challenges and wants to increase competition and standards. I really admire and value that.

"We all want Johnny to play and participate more on the pitch but that's something we will have to assess over the next few weeks."

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