Dani van den Heuvel is back in training and with the Leeds United squad in Valencia on a mid-season training camp – after suffering a worrying injury in a car crash that saw the goalkeeper suffer a fractured vertebrae and neck injuries.
It was a surprise to many when Jesse Marsch revealed in his first pre-match press conference of the season, that van den Heuvel had sustained the injury. He was representing the Netherlands U19 side in the summer, when it occurred.
In November, van den Heuvel was back in training – albeit, not to a full extent. But he has now travelled with the Leeds squad to Spain. He is likely the second most-senior goalkeeper in Spain, with Illan Meslier and Kris Klaesson missing.
Both are out with a viral infection. Joel Robles is likely to be on the trip, as is van den Heuvel. He took to Instagram to post a picture alongside Jesse Marsch and a number of other images – emotionally saying how happy he is to be back.
Van den Heuvel back in training with Leeds squad in Valencia
Brought in from Ajax’s academy in 2020 – following the same path as Pascal Struijk – van den Heuvel is yet to make his first-team debut. But he has clocked up eight outings for the U23 side, conceding 16 goals, keeping two clean sheets.
While he has only just returned, van den Heuvel will now have a big chance to make an impression on Marsch. With Meslier and Klaesson missing, he will be featuring heavily in first-team training. Leeds play against Elche on Thursday.
Robles is likely to start if Meslier is still missing, but given it is a friendly, it might be that Marsch gives van den Heuvel a chance from the bench. Joe Gelhardt was among the Leeds stars to praise van den Heuvel, posting “well done brother”.