Football Tribe SEA Editor
Injury-hit Hanoi FC have received a vital boost for the second half of the 2020 V.League 1 season. Star defender Doan Van Hau is set to make a return to the capital club after his loan at Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen was cut short following the abandonment of the Dutch football season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst Van Hau was not included in Heerenveen’s release list initially, the Frisian club was unable to fork out the €450,000/month salary that Van Hau was on due to the club’s finances being affected by the pandemic. Van Hau’s status as a non-EU player meant that his salary must be above the average salary that most EU players in the Eredivisie receive and with Dutch clubs being affected financially by the abandonment of the 2019/20 season, Van Hau’s salary must be covered by a third-party company from Asia in order for Heerenveen to retain him. Hanoi even offered to assist Heerenveen in finding a company that would sponsor Van Hau in the Netherlands, however the COVID-19 pandemic has made companies rather reluctant to splash the cash out on the Vietnamese rising star.
“We have been looking for a way to cover Van Hau’s salary, but unfortunately that did not work,” said Heerenveen technical director Gerry Hamstra.
Despite only appearing in a brief cameo during Heerenveen’s 2-0 KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) win over Roda JC Kerkrade in December of last year, the Heerenveen coaching staff saw potential in Van Hau and the player himself intended to extend his stay in the Netherlands to develop himself and to fight for a place in the first team. A plan was made to gradually introduce Van Hau into the Heerenveen main setup in the 2020/21 season, however Heerenveen’s inability to cover Van Hau’s salary due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the 21-year old defender will return to Hanoi for the second half of the V.League 1 season.
“Despite Van Hau only making a single appearance all season long, we saw great potential in him. We intend to involve him more with the first team next season,” said Hamstra, “But unfortunately as a club we must set our priorities. We would like to thank Van Hau for his efforts at SC Heerenveen and wish him the very best in the rest of his career.”
Van Hau’s return to defending V.League 1 champions Hanoi would be welcomed greatly by everyone at the club as Heerenveen’s loss is Hanoi’s gain. With key players such as Do Duy Manh, Pape Omar Faye, Tran Dinh Trong, and even Nguyen Quang Hai being out injured in different points of the season, Hanoi have struggled greatly to live up to their usual high standards this season.
With 8 games being already played in the 2020 V.League 1 season, Hanoi have already lost 3 games, the same amount of games they’ve lost throughout the 2019 season. This meant that Hanoi are currently stuttering in 8th place, lagging behind Ho Chi Minh City duo Sai Gon FC and Ho Chi Minh City FC, Southern Vietnam giants Becamex Binh Duong, fellow Northern Vietnam side Than Quang Ninh, and even city rivals Viettel FC.
Van Hau’s return in the second half of the season would surely shore up Hanoi’s defense and would provide the men in purple with a significant boost that they need to turn their season around.