Jan-Arie van der Heijden
|Full name||Johannes Adrianus van der Heijden|
|Date of birth||3 March 1988|
|Place of birth||Schoonhoven, Netherlands|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2009–2011||→ Willem II (loan)||58||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 March 2009
Van der Heijden is a talented midfielder, who made his debut for Ajax in the league match Ajax – Roda JC on 4 November 2007 (4–2). Prior to playing for Ajax, he played for V.V. Schoonhoven. He has also attained a bachelor's degree in Sports and Economics. Although the player has only played two league games for Ajax he did play a full match against VfB Stuttgart and made a substitutes appearance against Italian champions F.C. Internazionale Milano. On his 20th birthday, March 3, 2008, the player signed an improved contract that binds him to Ajax until 2013.
In the 2008–09 season under manager Marco van Basten, Van der Heijden was injured until March 2009 due to a double knee-injury. During the season, he had a number of unfortunate setbacks that prolonged his recovery period. At the end of March he was about to resume full training with Young Ajax, and he played a number of full matches with the reserve squad. On May 10, 2009, the last day of the Eredivisie season, Van der Heijden was on the bench as Ajax played against FC Twente, although he did not come onto the pitch.
For the 2009–10 season, new manager Martin Jol came in and Van der Heijden was sent out on loan to gain experience in the Eredivisie. On August 31, he joined Willem II Tilburg on loan until June 30, 2010. At Willem II he has become a first team regular as a controlling midfielder or as a libero. He made his first goal in competitive football for the Tilburg side in a 2–1 home victory against VVV-Venlo. He kicked a great free kick in the top corner leaving the goalkeeper without any chance. In January 2010, Ajax team mate Mitchell Donald joined Van der Heijden on loan from Ajax at the Tilburg club.
Van der Heijden also participated in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, where the Netherlands reached the semi finals, but they were beaten by the later winners Mexico. He was called up for the 2008 Toulon Tournament. On 13 October 2009, he made his U-21 debut in a 2011 European Championship qualifier.