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Anita: Vurnon San Benito (Vurnon)

2017-Current (Leeds Player Details) (Player Details)

Full-Back/Defensive Midfielder

Born: Willemstad, Curacao, Netherland Antilles: 04-04-1989

Debut: Bolton Wanderers (a) (Substitute) (h): 09-08-2017

Born at Willemstad on the Caribbean Island of Curacao in the Netherland Antilles, was six years old when his family moved to Holland. He had already started playing football with CVV Inter Willemstad Junior football club and soon after arrival in Holland he joined VV Maarssen Junior Football Club in Utrecht Province. He remained there only two years before being noticed by scouts from Ajax of Amsterdam who he joined in 1999. He moved through the Ajax age groups and in July 2005 he left the Under-Seventeens to join the Under-Nineteens. He was capped by the Netherlands for the Under-Fifteen team in the 2003-2004 season and scored three goals in four appearances. From 2004 to 2006 he scored three goals in Twenty-Eight appearances. For the next two years he moved up to Under-Nineteen and scored twice in thirteen games at that level. In 2008-09 he was twice capped at Under-Twenty and in 2009-10 he added a further six caps for the Under-Twenty-One team, but did not score for either. He was given his first team debut as a defensive midfielder on 19th March 2006 at FC Groningen and played a full game. This was followed quickly, three days later, by a start in the Semi-Final of the Beker Cup in a 4-1 win, after extra-time over Roda JC Kerkrade, in which he played for an hour before being replaced by Tomas Galasek. He again had a full game in a 2-2 home draw, in the Eredivisie, with SBV Excelsior on 18th February 2007, when he again played in midfield. Just four days previous, he had replaced Tom De Mul in the twenty-seventh minute of a 0-3 defeat at Werder Bremen in the Europa Cup and on 22nd February 2007 he had sat unused on the bench as Ajax won the home leg by 3-1. The 2007-08 season only saw a couple of times as an unused substitute on 15th August 2007 in the UEFA Champions League Qualifiers home tie with Slavia Prague and in the Eredivisie on 26th August 2007 in the home game with Heerenveen. However, by the second half of the 2008-09 season he had established himself as a regular in the first team, and in the UEFA Cup he had started three, come on as a substitute in two and unused on the bench in three more, while in the Eredivisie he started twelve was a substitute in four and had been unused on the bench eight times. By the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign he was a first team regular at Ajax, although mainly at left-back under then boss Martin Jol. When Jol departed and was replaced by Frank de Boer, Anita was switched back to his favoured central midfield position and impressed in the middle of the park for the Dutch giants. Initially he was on the bench but soon became a regular. He was on the bench for one Europa League Qualifier, bu when they progressed further in that League fe had started four and been unused on the bench in four of the eight fixtures. In the home fixtures he started twenty-three, was a substitute in three, and unused on the bench in four of the maximum thirty-four, of which one other was missed due to suspension. While in the Toto KNVB Beker, he started four, was a substitute in one and sat on the bench unused in two of the seven games played in winning that Cup, and played a full game in both legs of the two-legged final as Feyrnoord were defeated 2-0 at home and 4-1 away as he added a winners medal to his collection. It was in that Cup that he scored his first goal for Ajax with the opening goal, in the fifty- second minute, in a 2-1 Second Round victory at AGOW Apeldoorn on 24th September 2009. Now a regular, in the 2010-11 season, he started three of the four UEFA Champions League Qualifiers as they progressed to the later stages of the competition, while, in the Group stage, he started four and was unused in one of the six games as Ajax failed to progress but dropped into the Europa League, where he started the away and was on the bench in the home leg as RSC Anderlecht were defeated, but, although he played a full game in both legs, Ajax were eliminated by Spartak Moscow. In the Eredivisie he started twenty-seven, was a substitute in four and was unused in one of the thirty-four possible, one of which he missed because of suspension as Ajax won the Championship and gave Anita his first Eredivisie winners medal. In the Toto KNVB Beker he had started two, come on as a substitute in two more and unused in the other two, as Ajax made the final in which Anita played the full two hours as FC Twente prevailed 3-2, after extra time. He had also played a full game in the Johan Cruijff Shield in which Ajax had been defeated 0-1 by the same team. He also scored three goals in the League and one in the Cup. He had now achieved International status and was just twenty-one when he made his debut on 26th May 2010 at the Schwartzwald Stadion in Freiburg, Germany in a 2-1 win over Mexico, when he was a half-time replacement for Edson Braafheid. He was not included in other friendlies and did not add to his caps in the 2010 World Cup. He was called up again for the friendly with Ukraine on 11th August 2010 at the Donbass Arena, home of OSK Metalist, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, when he started, before being replaced at half-time by Erik Pieters. His third cap came in the Group E of the European Qualifiers when he played a full game in the 2-1 win over Finland at the De Kuip, home of Feyenoord in Rotterdam on 7th September 2010. Anita was rewarded for his success when, in April 2011, it was announced that Anita had signed a new three year contract with Ajax, that would bind him to the club until 2014. Although he was on the bench for the games with Switzerland and Germany in 2011 and the games with Iceland, Turkey, Kazakstan and the Czech Republic in European Qualifiers in 2015 he has not since added to his three caps. The 2011-12 season once more saw him a regular first team player at Ajax. In the European games he started five and came on as a substitute in the other of the six games in the UEFA Champions League which saw them drop down to the Europa League, where he played a full game in both games as they were eliminated by Manchester United. In Domestic games he started thirty, came on as a substitute in three games and sat unused on the bench in the other of the thirty-four game maximum in the Eredivisie, scoring twice in a 4-1 home win over JC Roda on 4th March 2012 and in the 6-0 home win over Heracles Almelo on 1st April 2012. Anita picked up his second Eredivisie Championship medal as Ajax took the title in 2011-12. In the Toto KNVB Beker he played a full game in two of the three ties, but only played fourteen minutes as a substitute as FC Twente again proved the better team in the Johan Cruijff Shield. He had played just two full games in the 2012-13 season, the first, on 5th August 2012, as Ajax once more failed to win the Johan Cruijff Shield in a 2-3 defeat by PSV Eindhoven and a week later, in the Eredivisie, a 2-2 home draw with AZ Alkmaar, when Ajax received an offer for him from Newcastle United. Ajax managed to stave off the first bid but finally agreed to a 6.7m bid. Anita signed a five year contract on 16th August 2012. While at Ajax he had scored seven goals in one hundred and fifty-two appearances, being one hundred and nine in the Eredivisie, of which fourteen was as a substitute, in which he had scored five goals. Then, twelve in the KNVB Beker, where he scored twice, and three in the Johan Cruijff Shield, and twenty-eight in European competitions. At St James's Park he was soon in the action coming on as a seventy-first minute substitute for Yohan Cabaye in Central Midfield in the opening EPL fixture at home to Tottenham Hotspur on 18th August 2012. In his first start he played a full game in the Europa League Qualifying Round, first leg, at Atromios Athens on 23rd August 2012 he played the full game in a 1-1 draw in the Defensive Midfield role. He scored his first Newcastle goal in Europa League on 8th November 2012, scoring the first Toon goal in the forty-first minute to reduce Club Brugge KV's lead to 2-1 in 2-2 draw at Jan Breydel Stadion in Group D. The Magpies progressed to the quarter-finals before losing on aggregate to Benfica as Anita started nine and came on as a substitute twice and was once unused on the bench in the fourteen ties the club played in that competition. He was not so lucky in the EPL where he started seventeen, came off the bench in eight and was unused in twelve with one game missed due to injury. He also played a full game in the F.A. Cup Third Round defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion. 2013-14 once more saw him as a regular in the first team starting twenty-eight, coming on as a substitute in six and being unused on the bench on four occasions in a thirty-eight game EPL season in which he scored his first goal in the competition on 1st March 2014. It was in the third minute of injury time at the end of the game to make the score 4-1 in an away fixture with Hull City in a game that was more remembered for the controversity of the Newcastle Manager, Alan Pardew, headbutting David Meyler, a home team player. He also played a full game in the Third Round 1-2 defeat by Cardiff City at St James' in the F.A. Cup and started two and was unused on the bench in the third of the League Cup games for that season. The 2014-15 season saw him feature with the first team squad, butdid nor take the field as much as in previous seasons. In the EPL he started seventeen and was a substitute in two more, but he sat unused seventeen times and did not make the squad on two other occasions. He played a full game as Newcastle agained failed to progress past the Third Round in the F.A. Cup, being defeated 0-1 at Leicester City. In the League Cup he had just one game as a substitute as he was unused twice on the bench and missed the squad once in the four ties that Newcasrtle played. Achilles tendon problems saw him sidelined for over two months in the second half of the season. It resulted in him only starting twenty-four EPL games and being a substitute four times and unused once, with seven being missed from injury and two other when he did not make the squad. It was not a good season for Newcastle either as they were relegated to the Championship. He also missed the F.A. Cup defeat at Watford but played one full game in the League Cup. He also added one goal to his EPL tally when he scored the equaliser in the thirty- first minute of a 1-1 draw at St James' with Manchester City on 19th April 2016. Newcastle were not in the Championship for long, gaining promotion back to the EPL, as Champions, at the first time of asking for Anita to win a Champions' medal. However, once more Anita was beset by injuries, which saw him miss eight games with an ankle injury and three from a red card suspension. In the Championship he started twenty-four, came on as a substitute three times, and sat unused on the bench nine times. He was not in the squad twice and was suspended in two and injured in six. In the F.A. Cup he played a full game and then missed two due to injury, while in the League Cup he started one, was a substitute in two and missed one through suspension. Rafa Benitez chose not to extend Anita's contract when it came to an end and he was given a free transfer at the end of the season. On 6th July 2017 he signed a three year contract at Leeds United. Anita had scored three goals in one hundred and fifty-five appearances for Newcastle United. This was comprised of two goals in one hundred and ten starts and twenty-three from the bench in the League, four starts in the F.A. Cup and four starts and three as a substitute in the League Cup together with one goal from nine starts and two from the bench in European competition. Thomas Christiansen seemed to have had Anita in mind as the Leeds Left Back, mostly to replace the soon to exit for Burnley, Charlie Taylor, and also as cover for Luke Ayling on the right. He had to contend with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson but more immenantly, Gaetano Beradi, who could also fill both full-back roles. He started the season on the bench as Berardi started the first game at Bolton Wanderers on 6th August 2017, when he replaced the injured Berardi after thirty-eight minutes. With the Swiss full- back on the injured list for over a month he was able to make his starting debut at Left Back in the League Cup-tie with Port Vale three days later and then get selected ahead of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, firstly for his starting League debut at home to Fulham on 15th August 2017 and then retained that position until Berardi returned after recovering from injury. This was to be the situation for the rest of the season with Berardi first choice at Left Back unless he was injured or unavailable from suspension. Luke Ayling had a virtually season-ending injury on New Years' Day at home to Nottingham Forest and this gave Anita more playing time, with Berardi the first choice full-back alternating between Left and Right and with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson back at Old Trafford the other full back position was his except when Belgian Laurens De Bock was bought and had a short tenure and young Tom Pearce was given his chance by Paul Heckingbottom in the final few games of the season. By the end of the 2017-18 season he had started fourteen and been a substitute four times in the Championship and had started in the one F.A. Cup tie and three League Cup ties. With two years left on his contract and no signs of first team football on the horizon, he was surplus to new Manager Marcelo Bielsa's requirements and went on a season long loan back to Holland with Willem II on 31st August 2018. He made his debut in the Eredivisie on 1st September 2018 in a 1-6 defeat at PSV Eindhoven and made his home debut in the next match, a 2-2 draw with Excelsior a fortnight later.

AppearancesGoals
League 14/40
F.A. Cup 00
League Cup 0/30

(To 2017/18)