With midfield role unlikely, what next for Leeds United's Vurnon Anita?

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

The summer signing has fallen out of favour at Leeds United.

A general view of Elland Road prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Leeds United and Rotherham United at Elland Road on January 9, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Shortly after arriving at Leeds United on a free transfer, Vurnon Anita sealed a regular starting spot at left-back, but more recently the Dutchman has fallen out of favour and he must be wondering where his next start is coming from.

The problem for a player as versatile as Anita is that he can be seen as a temporary solution to a raft of different problems, rather than a definitive answer to one.

With Gaetano Berardi now the undisputed first-choice left-back under Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen, Anita may have hoped to stake a claim further forward, given his natural position is as a holding midfielder.

APOEL's Spanish head coach Thomas Christiansen looks on prior to the Europa League group B football match beetween Young Boys and APOEL at the Stade de Suisse in Bern on October 20, 2016.

However Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O'Kane are all ahead of him in the pecking order and Christiansen's recent decision to give Conor Shaughnessy some minutes in his preferred midfield role suggests Anita is fourth choice at best.

That is not good news for a player who, at 28, will want to play week in, week out but instead is warming the bench at the coldest time of the year.

Leeds' promotion charge means Anita may get more opportunities in the second half of the campaign, yet with Shaughnessy now joining the list of midfielders ahead of the former Newcastle United man, he may require a setback to either Berardi or Luke Ayling to gift him a way back into the side.

Newcastle player Vurnon Anita in action during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Hull City and Newcastle United at KCOM Stadium on November 29, 2016 in Hull, England.

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