Leeds United utility man Vurnon Anita has endured a difficult time at the club since his free signing from Newcastle United in the summer of 2017 and the Elland Road faithful have not seen all that much of the Dutch international.
With just 22 appearances to his name for the Whites in an injury ravaged campaign last season, the 30-year-old was shipped back to the Netherlands on loan in the summer of 2018, going on to become a mainstay in Willem II’s side in the Dutch top flight.
However, it has not stopped former Leeds ace Noel Whelan from tearing into the 5’5″ [Transfermarkt] midfielder-stroke-full back, with the pundit urging that he, among all the other senior players out on loan, are sold this summer.
What did Whelan say?
Speaking about the numerous first team talents away from Elland Road – including the likes of Samu Saiz and Caleb Ekuban – on loan, the ex-striker insisted that if he were in charge, they would be sold as soon as possible.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “They’re not good enough. It’s as simple as that. If they were good enough, they’d have stayed but from what I’ve seen last season, they’ve been brought into the club to do a job and they just can’t do it.
“If we can get them offloaded, off the books, off the payroll, I’d be doing that straight away.”
Some would say that this would be a fair assessment – after all, it was Marcelo Bielsa who decided to ship them all out from the club last summer or in January, but perhaps Anita can be the exception to the rule.
Why should he be given a second chance?
With 106 Premier League appearances under his belt while at Newcastle United, it is clear as day that the three-cap international has talent and it was just unfortunate that his first season at Leeds was cut to pieces by poor management and injuries.
A versatile player who can fill in as a midfielder or a full back on either flank, you can imagine he would have been playing a regular role in the first team at Leeds had he been given the chance.
A hard worker who never gives up on the cause, Bielsa should really have given him a chance last summer instead of swiftly shipping him out, and with a potential Premier League campaign on the horizon, Leeds could do with his century of games worth of experience among the squad.
He can be like a new signing for the manager if he is given the chance and Whelan might be made to eat his words if he starts to shine at Elland Road.