The Leeds United squad just got a little lighter today. Former Newcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita and Republic of Ireland international Eunan O’Kane have both left the club on loan.
Anita has headed to the Netherlands on loan, joining up with Willem II, while O’Kane has joined newly promoted League One side Luton Town.
| Vurnon Anita has today joined Dutch Eredivisie side Willem II on a season-long loan deal— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 31, 2018
Per the club’s official website:
Vurnon Anita has today joined Dutch Eredivisie outfit Willem II on a season-long loan deal.
Anita joined Leeds on a free transfer from Newcastle United ahead of the 2017/18 season and went on to make 22 appearances for the Whites
Anita came up through the youth ranks at Ajax, and represented the Netherlands at all youth levels. He also made three senior appearances for Holland.
| Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane has completed a loan move to League One side Luton Town— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 31, 2018
Eunan O’Kane has joined Luton Town on loan. Per the club’s official website:
Leeds United midfielder Eunan O’Kane has completed a loan move to Sky Bet League One side Luton Town.
The Republic of Ireland international will remain at Kenilworth Road until 10th January 2019.
O’Kane joined Leeds from Bournemouth in 2016 and made 58 appearances for the Whites in all competitions.
Neither O’Kane nor Anita seemed to be in the plans of the club this season, with both them having trained with the U23s instead of training with the senior squad since preseason.
It appeared that new Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa determined they were surplus to requirements early on, and the club had reportedly been looking at deals for both players to leave the club.
This summer has seen the following 22 leave #lufc on loan/permanent/released— Adam Pope (@apopey) August 31, 2018
Leeds have let a lot of players go this season, and after the team seemed bloated last season, perhaps it’s for the best. Bielsa had said in his first press conference that he thought that the Leeds squad had 15 more players than it needed, and Leeds have been sending players out either on loan or a permanent moves elsewhere ever since.
Some of the loans moves are an attempt to get a younger player some playing time, such as the loan deal to send Kitching to Harrogate Town, while others have been to send a player that will no longer feature in the first team, like Caleb Eukan, out to a different club.
As usual, we wish Anita and O’Kane luck at their new clubs.