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Whatever happened to Vurnon Anita?

3 years ago

I came across a mention of Vurnon Anita and wondered what had happened to him.

There was a lot of discussion when he was given a free transfer after promotion and there seemed a fair few Newcastle fans who thought it was a mistake.

Never really saw that myself as I always felt he was too small, weak and slow to cope with the Premier League.

I knew he had gone to Leeds United and that he had started ok last season, from what I remember, but couldn’t think when I had last heard about him.

With Leeds making such a good start they have had plenty of coverage this season but I hadn’t seen Vurnon Anita mentioned.

So I thought I’d investigate…

It turned out that things went really sour for the Dutchman at Leeds, after starting eight games early on last season, he then only got six more Championship starts in the final seven months of the 2017/18 season.

Into the summer then and when Leeds handed out their shirt numbers on 26 July 2018, Vurnon Anita didn’t get one.

They were desperate to move him out but looked like they were going to be stuck with the former Ajax player, only to get him out on deadline day to Dutch minnows Willem ll, with Leeds picking up a significant amount of his wages.

He is on a season loan in Holland but looks very likely to end up back at Leeds, where he is contracted until June 2020.

Even back in the low standard Dutch league, Vurnon Anita has struggled to get a game, making just the three league starts so far and spending most of his time on the bench.

Anita and his new club are already 23 points behind leaders PSV but only three points above second bottom, a tough season looks assured.

I also came across these comments from Leeds fan message boards that The Mag featured back in July 2017, when his move to Elland Road was confirmed:

‘Big name signing Anita, good luck to the boy.

Welcome all the same, 10-12 goals off him for starters if you please.’

‘Seems to be having good things said about him by geordies, seems like a very decent signing.’

‘He played at full back numerous times last year only due to injuries.

He is first and foremost a holding midfielder but its good to have someone with versatility.

Excellent signing, given its a free transfer (wages will be high I expect but even so) and he is obviously very familiar with the championship so can hit the ground running.’

‘Was really good a couple of seasons ago, hopefully he can replicate that.’

‘Very happy with that. PL, Champions League experience, over 100 games for Ajax and has promotion experience.’

‘This is a cracking signing.

He’s versatile – midfield, RB and has played LB.’

‘Very pleased with that one. Almost suspiciously pleased if I’m honest. Slightly unsure why he was deemed surplus to requirements at Newcastle by the end of the season.

He was on an estimated £35k p/w at Newcastle, so with this being a free transfer I would imagine he has just become our highest paid player.’


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