Vietnam international Doan Van Hau was introduced at Dutch league club SC Heerenveen, where Ruud van Nistelrooy once played, on Monday, only days after news of his moving to play in Europe made headlines in Vietnam.
The 20-year-old defender has been loaned by his club Hanoi FC to SC Heerenveen on a one-year term, with the Dutch club retaining a buy-out clause of 1.5 million euros (US$1.66 million) after the contract ends.
Hanoi FC play at Vietnam’s top-tier V. League 1, while SC Heerenveen competes at Eredivisie, which is Dutch football's league.
The young defender left Vietnam for the European country on Saturday night and cleared a medical examination and other procedures on Monday.
Hau has officially become the first-ever Vietnamese footballer to play in the Netherlands, and only the second to play in Europe now, following Cong Phuong, who signs for Belgium’s Sint-Truiden.
He will reportedly earn US$22,000 per month at his new club – a record high for a Vietnamese footballer playing overseas in Vietnam’s football history.
Speaking at a press conference in the Netherlands on Monday night, the young Vietnamese defender said that he was proud and happy to wear the jersey of SC Heerenveen.
|Vietnam's defender Doan Van Hau poses for a photo at Abe Lenstra Stadion, the home ground of SC Heerenveen. Photo: Hanoi FC|
“I will try my best to practice and to learn from my new teammates, as well as following instructions from the coach, so I can strongly contribute to the team,” Hau said.
“I want more people in the world to know about Vietnam.”
Besides the buy-out clause, Hanoi FC and SC Heerenveen also agreed upon an important term, which allows Hau to serve the Vietnamese national team in a 2022 World Cup Asian qualifying game this week and Vietnam's campaign at the Southeast Asian Games in November.
The left-back was scheduled to leave the Netherlands for Thailand on Tuesday to join his teammates to prepare for the World Cup qualifier against the hosts on Thursday.
Hanoi FC revealed in a statement that representatives of the two clubs “have been working on talks over the past two months” before they reached the loan deal.
“SC Heerenveen had watched very closely the defender for a long period of time,” the Dutch club said.
Hau, with an impressive height of 1.85m as per Vietnamese standards, was recruited to the national team at the age of 18 in 2017, and has so far made 18 appearances and key contributions to senior and junior national squads.
SC Heerenveen, who have a history of nearly 100 years, finished 11 out of 18 in the 2018-19 season with 41 points after 34 games.
Many famous footballers had played at SC Heerenveen before they rose to stardom, including former Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy, Klass-Jan Huntelaar, a current striker of the most successful Dutch club Ajax, and Denzel Dumfries and Daryl Janmaat, who are both Dutch internationals.