Vurnon Anita leaves Leeds United after contract terminated by mutual consent

GONE: Vurnon Anita has left Leeds United with his contract terminated by mutual consent.
GONE: Vurnon Anita has left Leeds United with his contract terminated by mutual consent.
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VURNON ANITA has left Leeds United with the former Netherlands international's contract terminated by mutual consent.

Anita leaves the Whites after a two-year stay at Elland Road that brought about only 14 league starts and 22 appearances in all competitions following his switch from Newcastle United in the summer of 2017.

The Dutchman helped the Magpies to the Championship title in 2016-17 with the midfielder/full back making 27 league appearances that season under Rafa Benitez.

The Magpies signed Anita from Ajax in August 2012 with the Dutchman making 155 appearances for the Magpies.

But Anita was then released by Newcastle following their promotion winning campaign with Leeds looking to have made a shrewd signing when capturing the versatile Dutchman on a free transfer on a three-year deal.

After making an appearance from the bench under Thomas Christiansen in the season opening 3-2 win at Bolton Wanderers, Anita then made his Leeds full league debut in the goalless draw at Fulham with the Dutchman then starting United's next six league games, predominantly playing as a left back.

But thereafter Anita found himself in and out of the side and never first choice either at full back or in midfield with the summer recruit making just one more start before the end of the year - in the 2-1 loss at home to Sheffield United.

Anita was rarely used in his natural central midfield role with the Dutchman deployed as a full back on either side and the former Magpie was part of the Whites side that fell to a demoralising 2-1 loss at League Two side Newport County in January's third round FA Cup tie.

Only six more league starts followed under Christiansen and then Paul Heckingbottom and Anita was then deemed surplus to requirements by new Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa following his arrival in June.

Anita was not handed a squad number and joined Dutch side Willem II on a season-long loan on August 31.

The former Netherlands international made 27 appearances in the Eredivisie - 14 starts and 13 off the bench - as Willem II finished tenth.

The 30-year-old then returned back to Leeds with the Dutchman then linked with a move to Greek side Panathinaikos.