Former England international Danny Mills has admitted that he thought Vurnon Anita’s transfer to Leeds United seemed a real coup at the time, as told to Football Insider.
Anita joined the Whites as a free agent following his release from Newcastle United in 2017, but has now seen his contract mutually terminated at Elland Road after failing to make a single competitive appearance under Marcelo Bielsa (TransferMarkt).
The Dutch midfielder had made 22 outings for the West Yorkshire outfit across all competitions before Bielsa was appointed to the helm, at which point he was offloaded to Willem II on loan for the year before failing to secure a permanent transfer ahead of the European transfer deadline.
His renewed status as a free agent led to reports suggesting he was on the verge of joining Maccabi Haifa (Walla Sports), although the club have since stated that Anita is not a player being considered by manager Marco Balbul (Sport 1 Maariv).
Being linked with and then dismissed by Maccabi Haifa suggests how grand Anita’s fall from grace has been, and former Leeds defender has admitted he had forgotten the Dutchman was still at Elland Road before his release.
“He came in initially from Newcastle and I thought that was a good signing – can play in midfield, can play in at full-back, got some quality,” Mills told Football Insider. “He played the first three or four games and then just disappeared. I’d actually forgotten he was at the football club.
“Just disappeared off the face of the planet. It is a very strange one, I’m sure he’ll get another club now. It seemed like a decent signing and a real coup to get him in.”
Mills is certainly right in suggesting Anita’s move to Leeds as a free agent from Newcastle looked like a strong deal for the Elland Road natives at the time, as the midfielder had proven himself to be a versatile option throughout his career, and continued that in West Yorkshire by making most of his outings at full-back (TransferMarkt).
The 30-year-old had also represented his country three times, and won three Eredivisie titles and three Dutch Cups during his spell with Ajax, but failed to replicate any kind of success with the Whites before being shunned by Bielsa.
Leeds taking the decision to call time on Anita’s spell at the club undoubtedly seemed like the right thing to do, given the midfielder was also training away from the first-team at Thorp Arch (Football Insider).
Leeds fans, do you feel Bielsa has enough midfield cover after Anita’s release? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Leeds United notifications!