Vurnon Anita promised bigger role at NUFC

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ALAN Pardew has promised Vurnon Anita he’ll go Dutch next season – and hand him a bigger role at Newcastle United.

Anita, the club’s only signing last summer, found his opportunities limited in his first campaign at St James’s Park.

The 24-year-old made just 17 Premier League starts for the club.

But Pardew is confident Newcastle supporters will see more of technically-gifted Anita – who played more than 100 league games for former club Ajax – in his second year on Tyneside.

“He’s a great technician with the ball, and he’ll be better next year,” Pardew told SportMail.

Versatile Anita admitted himself it took him time to adjust to the pace and power of English football, and his acclimatisation, in Pardew’s view, was not helped by the team’s poor domestic form.

However, the Holland international – who can play in midfield and at right-back – impressed during a run in Pardew’s side in December and early January.

And Pardew believes Anita, for the most part a substitute in the latter months of the campaign, will “push on” next season.

“I think it’s been a year where Vurnon’s had to adapt in a team that’s not done well and wasn’t playing its best football,” added Pardew.

“He’s suffered because of the injuries we’ve had as much as everybody else. We’ll be looking to him to push on next year.”

Anita – who played in the Champions League with Ajax – was signed for a reported £6.7m fee.

He signed a five-year deal at St James’s Park, and took the No8 shirt previously worn by Danny Guthrie, who joined Reading on a free transfer last summer.

Speaking about his new life in England last season, Anita said: “It’s very different – the play goes up and down, up and down.

“It’s different. You feel it in your legs – you get tired more quickly than in Holland. It’s great. It’s the biggest league in the world, so I’m happy to play in it. I have to adapt quick, and make it my own.”