Leeds United pay off Vurnon Anita
When Vurnon Anita joined Leeds United in summer 2017, it looked a great signing.
Having helped Newcastle get promotion, the former Dutch international had been released by Rafa Benitez, no doubt Leeds hoping he could help them go up as well.
Signing a three year contract he played regularly at first but then quickly lost his place, in the end making only 14 Championship starts.
It got worse, as Leeds made clear they didn’t want him, Vurnon Anita going out on loan to Dutch minnows Willem ll last season. Though once again he was named on the bench more often than in the starting eleven, only 14 league starts in Holland last season.
It has been an expensive ‘free’ transfer for Leeds as they ended up also paying a significant proportion of Anita’s wages when in Holland.
Now on Monday, Leeds United have announced that they have paid off the one-time Newcastle player, with 30 year old Vurnon Anita now a free agent.
Official Leeds United Statement:
‘Leeds United wishes Vurnon all the best for the future
The contract of Vurnon Anita has been terminated by mutual consent.
Anita joined Leeds United after his contract had expired at Newcastle United in the summer of 2017 and went on to make 22 appearances for the club in all competitions.
The club wishes Vurnon all the very best for the future.’
My article on The Mag – 23 November 2018:
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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