Jonny Heitinga
Jonny Heitinga says he may be forced to leave Everton in January. [Reuters]

Everton centre-back Jonny Heitinga has suggested that he may need to leave the club in January to cement his place in the Holland squad ahead of next summer's World Cup.

The former Ajax and Atletico Madrid defender has made just two appearances this season under new manager Roberto Martinez, both of which coming in the Capital One Cup.

With Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka the preferred partnership under Martinez, Heitinga has hinted that he may be forced to leave Goodison Park after seeing himself left out of the provisional Holland squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Hungary and Turkey.

Holland boss Louis van Gaal has made it clear that to earn a place in his squad you must be playing regularly and it seems this may force Heitinga out of Everton.

"I took a risk by staying at Everton," Heitinga told Voetbal International. "I had a few options to move in August, but they were not interesting enough.

"But maybe something will happen for me in January. Everton know I will be a free agent next summer.

"I want to get back into the Holland team. Everyone knows how Van Gaal picks his players - on the basis of how much playing time they get for their clubs. At the moment I'm not in contention to be selected.

"Roberto Martinez has said Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin are his first-choice central defenders. It is good to have clarity. But it's going to be a big task for me to get back into the first team."

Heitinga was heavily linked with a move away from Everton in the summer but ultimately decided to remain at the club. However, should he decide to seek a new challenge then it is unlikely that he'll be short of options.

The 29 year old has a wealth of experience both at club level and on the world stage having appeared in a World Cup final and made some 87 appearances for Holland.