MOT View: 31y/o released by Leeds last year now plays in Bulgaria, proving decision correct

Leeds United fans will have long forgotten about Vurnon Anita and his spell at Elland Road which lasted just two years.

Anita, now 31, was picked up on a free transfer by the Whites in Victor Orta’s first summer as director of football after he had been released by Newcastle.

Leeds signed a player who is adept at playing in a number of positions, had won caps for the Netherlands, had won numerous titles with Ajax and even a Championship title with Newcastle.

However the Dutchman failed to live up to expectations in his first season at Elland Road, appearing just 22 times in all competitions, before Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival in West Yorkshire saw the midfielder loaned out to Willem II.

Anita played a key role for Willem II in the Eredivisie last season, earning 33 appearances in all competitions and even wearing the captain’s armband on one occasion as they earned a respectable mid-table finish.

Still, Anita’s decent season in the Netherlands wasn’t enough to impress Leeds, who agreed a mutual termination of the player’s contract on September 2 last year.

Anita then spent a lot of time in the wilderness, trying to find himself a new club.

Surely a player with the previously-mentioned accomplishments wouldn’t find it too hard to get himself a new team to play for? But evidently, that was the case as on February 29, CSKA Sofia signed the former Leeds, Newcastle and Ajax utility player.

Since heading to Bulgaria, Anita has managed to make just two appearances before the coronavirus pandemic brought the Efbet Liga season to a halt.

Anita’s debut saw him come off the bench for the final 29 minutes of CSKA Sofia’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Tsarsko Selo.

He then made his full debut a week later and played 90 minutes of the 2-0 win against Beroe.

Anita is a very experienced player who you would have thought would be playing above the level of Bulgaria’s top-flight.

However when you think back to some of his displays when Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom was in charge, it is no surprise at all that the Dutchman never really lived up to the potential he was tipped to reach when he was at Ajax.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds and West Brom could suffer financially if the EFL takes this decision.