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Opinion

Vurnon Anita found out at Leeds United

1 year ago
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I have been down in Leeds this week with work.

Out with some of the locals on Wednesday night, the talk inevitably turned to football.

They were keen to find out how things were at Newcastle United and especially whether we were at last going to see the end of Mike Ashley’s ownership.

The half dozen I was with were all Leeds fans, including a couple of season ticket holders, apart from one who is a very happy Sheffield United supporter.

Wolves lead the Championship with 41 points, newly promoted Sheff Utd five points behind in third, then Leeds way back in 10th on 26 points, 15 off the pace.

Having come so close last season to promotion, the mood isn’t great amongst the Leeds supporters.

I was interested in finding out how Vurnon Anita was getting on.

I hold my hands up now and say that I thought he was a really poor signing for Newcastle and never a Premier League player.

However, last season he seemed to find his level and did ok in the second tier, although I couldn’t believe some Newcastle supporters thought he was worth another contract to be part of our Premier League squad this time around.

Sure enough, when released no other Premier League club had any interest in the Dutch midfielder/defender and he ended up Leeds. About right I thought and I can remember he seemed to be doing relatively ok at full-back when I saw Leeds on TV a couple of times back in August.

I was surprised then to hear the lads last night, they absolutely slated Vurnon Anita. As one of Leeds’ top paid players, if not the top earner, they thought he had been woeful after doing the basics in those first few matches.

In fact, it turns out that after being dropped, Anita has only started one Championship match in the past nine weeks.

None of the five Leeds fans I was drinking with, wanted to see the former Ajax player back in the team.

Newcastle may be desperately short of quality in certain positions but for my money, there was definitely no future in keeping the likes of Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran, another player who I was always surprised about when some Newcastle fans rated him.

Like Anita, the Frenchman is now struggling to get a game. He has also spent most of the time on the bench despite dropping down to the very low standard Turkish league with Goztepe, making only four league starts so far.
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