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After England recall, Ronaldo Vieira deserves one for Leeds United

Championship

After England recall, Ronaldo Vieira deserves one for Leeds United

The England under-20 international has struggled this season, but deserves another run in the team.

Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira was the talk of the town last season. The midfield dynamo had a breakout campaign at Elland Road. The teenager featured in 34 Championship games for Leeds last season as the Whites narrowly missed out on the play-off positions.

He then went on to establish himself as one of the country’s top young talents, by starring for England under-20s in their Toulon Tournament victory.

But this season has been a struggle for the teen.

Leeds United’s Guinea Bissau midfielder Ronaldo Vieira (L) vies with Liverpool’s Spanish defender Alberto Moreno during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 29, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Vieira has only started 15 times for Leeds in the league this season with the club dropping down the table and out of promotion contention.

But despite the recent doom and gloom for the talented midfielder he got good news this week as well, after receiving a late call-up tp feature for the England set-up again. In the same week his brother Romario made his debut for the county of their birth Guinea-Bissau, injuries have seen Vieira called in at the last minute to face Portugal this week.

So does Vieira also deserve a Leeds recall?

Nobody in the heart of Leeds’ midfield have done much to deserve a starting spot this season. Adam Forshaw has performed to a satisfactory level since his arrival from Middlesbrough, but not exactly pulled up any trees. Kalvin Phillips has had a mixed season and is nowhere near as naturally gifted as Vieira. Eunan O’Kane is one of the more unpopular players with the Leeds fans and has performed poorly this season.

 

Yet, all three seem to be ahead of Vieira in the pecking order.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United closes down Ben Osborn of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on January 25, 2017 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Why does Vieira deserves another shot?

Vieira has struggled with tendonitis this season. Such a condition can only be exacerbated by the fact the teenager barely got a break throughout the summer. At a young age such a busy schedule can certainly put a strain on the body. A dip in performance was always likely.

But casting Vieira aside now makes no sense. When there was still hope of the play-offs perhaps it did, but now Leeds should be giving him the chance to show his true talent again.

Vieira has not played a part in the last three Leeds games but has been no worse this season than any of the other centre-midfield options. Taking him out of the firing line makes little sense when there is very little for Leeds to play for other than pride at present.

Paul Heckingbottom should throw him back in and give him a chance to rebuild a little of the reputation he has watched diminish this campaign.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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