The 20-year-old joined Dutch top flight club Heerenveen on a season-long loan deal immediately after putting pen to paper on a three-year contract with Brighton last summer.


Van Hecke’s loan contract with the Eredivisie outfit is nearing an end and the defender is in line to link up with Potter’s Seagulls squad in the summer.



With a return to Brighton on the horizon, the centre-back has expressed his desire to impress Potter during pre-season and stake a claim to be in the Englishman’s squad next term.


Van Hecke is also open to the idea of spending another year out on loan as he is aware of the need for him to get regular playing time to continue developing as a player.



Of course it is a big step, going from the Eredivisie to a Premier League club“, Van Hecke told Dutch regional daily Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant.


But I would like to show what I’m capable of.



You never know how things will turn out in football.


Which players will stay? Who will join, who will be sold?


Maybe the coach is impressed with what you show.


In any case, I played a lot of games this season and that has been good for my development.


I also have to take into account that I could be loaned out for another year.


Playing a lot and continuing to develop yourself, that’s the most important thing at my age.


Van Hecke made 31 appearances across all competitions for Heerenveen this season, while also contributing to two goals in the process.