Is Leeds United's Vurnon Anita set for a prolonged stay at left-back?

Apoel's Danish head coach Thomas Christiansen looks on ahead of the Europa League round of 16 football match between APOEL Nicosia vs R.S.C. Anderlecht at the Neo GSP Stadium in Nicosia on...

Vurnon Anita has played at left-back for Leeds United since moving on a free from Newcastle in the summer.

Newcastle player Vurnon Anita in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Preston North End at St James' Park on April 24, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

When you’re as versatile as Vurnon Anita, the prospect of moving to a new club and adapting to a new position is made a whole lot easier.

The Dutchman was a regular either at right-back or central midfield during his time at Newcastle United but, once he joined Leeds in the summer upon the expiry of his contract, Anita switched across to the left – a position he has not occupied on a regular basis since his days at Ajax.

Though Anita has filled in admirably. Albeit not the most natural option given that he prefers his right-foot, the 28-year-old is a solid defender who gives Leeds’ more naturally gifted attacking players the freedom to roam forward.

If Anita was harbouring hopes of returning to a more favoured position on the right of the defence, he may be a little disappointed. Because Luke Ayling remains as consistent as ever and is undoubtedly one of the first names on Thomas Christiansen’s team sheet.

Luke Ayling of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 13, 2017 in Leeds, England.

Since moving from Bristol City last summer, Ayling has started 53 Championship games.

And, in youngster Lewie Coyle, Leeds have a fine deputy. The 21-year-old has shone on loan at Fleetwood Town in League One this season, winning the fans’ Man of the Match award four times in his first eight games for the Cod Army.

Lewie Coyle of Fleetwood Town in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Fleetwood Town at Sixfields on August 12, 2017 in Northampton, England.

On current form, there is no reason to believe Coyle cannot challenge Ayling for a place in the starting XI when he returns from Fleetwood at the end of the season.

Thank goodness for Anita’s adaptability, then. Because it looks as if he could be stuck at left-back next season too.

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