Young Leeds United goalkeeper Dani van den Heuvel is recovering from being in a car crash earlier in the summer, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.
Van den Heuvel, 19, has reportedly suffered “damaged vertebrae in his neck” due to the accident, which also involved some of his Netherlands youth international teammates.
Hay doesn’t see the Dutch teenager returning to action any time soon. However, he stresses that the goalkeeper’s overall health is way more important than that right now.
“The van den Heuvel stuff is nasty, actually,” said Hay on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast (5 August, 10m00s).
“It was him and a few other Dutch youth internationals involved in a car accident earlier this summer.
“He’s damaged vertebrae in his neck and this is far less a football issue than a health issue.
“Marsch was saying, ‘we were far more concerned for his wellbeing than we were for when he’ll be back and when he’ll be able to play’.
“Van den Heuvel, I’m sure, will be worried about that himself but it’s not good at all and I don’t know when we can expect him to be back in the mix.
“It’s not that we expected him to play this season but he has been around the goalkeepers in the last year or so and we have seen a lot of him.”
All we can do is wish van den Heuvel all the best and that he recovers fully from this neck injury.
The 19-year-old was more than likely the third-choice goalkeeper at Elland Road last season behind Illan Meslier and Kristoffer Klaesson.
We can’t say for sure because those two were in every single matchday squad last term.
Van den Heuvel is a Netherlands Under-19 international and it seems as though he was in that car accident around the same time he was playing in Euro Under-19 qualifiers.
It’s a massive shame because it’ll take him a long time to recover from that neck injury.
And while we do hope that he’s able to play football again soon, the most important thing is the young sensation’s long-term health and recovery.
Leeds’ goalkeeper situation has been one that’s needed sorting for a while.
Meslier and Klaesson are both very young for the number one and number two spots in the squad.
However, AS reports that advanced talks are underway to sign free agent Joel Robles, who’s 32 and has Premier League experience from previous spells at Wigan and Everton.
In other Leeds United news, this Leeds star has taken Marsch’s decision personally as he looks to quit Elland Road this summer.