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Is Anita's role in doubt after Leeds snub against Sheff Utd?

Pablo Hernandez of Leeds United celebrates with Vurnon Anita of Leeds United after scores his sides first goal during the Caraboa Cup Fourth Round match between Leicester City and Leeds...

Vurnon Anita was left out of the Leeds side to face Sheffield United on Saturday.

Vurnon Anita of Leeds United arrives prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newport County and Leeds United at Rodney Parade on January 7, 2018 in Newport, Wales.

Paul Heckingbottom has had to contend with a long list of injured and suspended players at Leeds United just days after taking on the Elland Road role. It saw him start Stuart Dallas at right-back on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland international is naturally a left winger and although he is renowned for his hard work and determination, he is not a full-back and certainly not a right-sided one.

With Luke Ayling injured until the end of the season, Gaetano Berardi suspended for one more game - Sunday's clash against Bristol City - and Lewie Coyle out on loan, Heckingbottom has a big decision to make.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Barnsley at The Den on January 6, 2018 in London, England.

Dallas could be used again at right-back, but surely that would spell the end of Vurnon Anita's career at Elland Road with the three-time Holland international spending the entire 2016-17 season on the right side of defence at Newcastle?

The former Ajax utility man is more than adept at playing in defence, operation at full-back during Newcastle's promotion-winning campaign.

But if Heckingbottom is to overlook the 28-year-old and instead play Dallas out of position, surely Anita will be counting down the days until the summer transfer window, despite only moving to Leeds last summer.

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas tackles Jackson Irvine of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Leeds United at the KCOM Stadium on January 30, 2018 in Hull,...

Leeds' number eight joined the club on a free from Newcastle, but he has featured just 12 times in the Championship this season - starting only nine of those.

With Ayling set to recover at the end of the season and Coyle expected to return to play a role at Elland Road next time around, 5ft 5in Anita will be wondering what chances he has of game time if he cannot get into the side when the duo are unavailable.

Right now, the only way of securing game time and saving his stuttering career would be to leave Elland Road in the summer.

 

 

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