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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.

Mathew Nash

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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. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Nottingham Forest

What role can Daryl Murphy play at Nottingham Forest next season?

The Nottingham Forest striker faces an interesting year at the City Ground.

Mathew Nash

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When Nottingham Forest snapped up Daryl Murphy last summer it looked like a coup for the club. Signed for a fee in the region of £2 million from Newcastle United fans were excited about the Republic of Ireland star’s arrival.

They had good reason to be excited. Murphy had just played a role in Newcastle United’s promotion to the Premier League. He had been scoring goals for fun at Ipswich Town. Murphy netted 27 goals in 2014-15 and in the previous three seasons had scored a total of 50 goals.

But last season was a struggle for the Irishman. Injury hampered his debut season at Forest. Despite scoring six goals in his first 11 games for the club, it soon turned sour.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He scored just once more in 20 more games for Forest and featured just six times in 2018.


“It was a tough season last season for Daryl. So far he has been training really, really well and he looks confident; he looks strong – although he has always been strong.

“I was really pleased, because he is doing really well and he is a player who can help us a lot.”

– Aitor Karanka speaking in July


So does he have a future at the club?

Forest have improved their attacking options immensely this summer. The arrival of El Arbi Hillel Soudani and Lewis Grabban has added massive firepower up top. With youngster Ben Brereton also fighting for a first-team spot with Joe Lolley capable of playing up top, Murphy has a job on his hands.

At 35-years-old he may find himself happy with a bit-part impact role at the City Ground. He may have to because it does not seem he will be a starter next season.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves’ incoming recruit Joao Moutinho was once targeted as Luka Modric replacement

Wolves are set to sign the Portugal star for just £5 million.

Mathew Nash

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In many ways, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ impending deal to sign Joao Moutinho from Monaco is no surprise. The Portuguese international is a client of Jorge Mendes who has helped bring many stars to Molineux in recent months.

On the other hand, it is a massive shock. Moutinho only signed a new deal with Monaco at the end of March. Then there is the price-tag. According to Sky Sports, the deal is worth £5 million between the two clubs.

Moutinho has, in the past, been valued considerably higher.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When Tottenham Hotspur agreed on a deal to sign him in 2012 the fee was £24 million. In the end, he decided he did not want to leave Porto that summer leaving Tottenham without a Luka Modric replacement.  

He ended up joining Monaco a year later for a similar fee and over the years has been heralded as one of European football’s more understated midfield dynamos.

Considering Everton are about to pay ten times as much to bring in Richarlison from Watford, it highlights how good a deal this is for Wolves.

Moutinho succeeds nearly everywhere he plays, even on an international level where he won Euro 2016 with his nation. But even if he doesn’t at Wolves, the price-tag is so low it was worth the risk.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Saiz wanted, Vydra and Hernandez deals rumble on, Machuca unveiled

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Saiz-able offer

Leeds United are fending off admirers in Spanish talent Samuel Saiz. According to Fichajes, he was wanted by three La Liga clubs this summer. The talented playmaker has courted the interest of former club Huesca, Getafe and Valencia.

The latter are said to have made a bid of £8.9 million for his services, whilst Getafe have also made Leeds an offer.

However, the report claims that Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has absolutely no desire to sell the 27-year-old, who he sees as key to Leeds’ hopes this season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Demands must change

Leeds have not yet given up on signing either Matej Vydra or Abel Hernandez this summer, according to YEP journalist Phil Hay.

Leeds offered a contract to free agent Hernandez and had a £11 million bid accepted for Czech talent Vydra.

However, both could not agree on personal terms with Leeds as finances proved a major stumbling block.

Hay claims that no deal will go through unless either player drops their demands.

Machuca unveiled

Alejandro Machuca has been unveiled by his new club, after leaving Leeds on loan. The under-23 star has joined Burgos of Spain’s third-tier for the upcoming season.

The attacker was signed last July from Rayo Vallecano and played a prominent role in Carlos Corberan’s team last season.

He will now hope for regular football back in Spain.

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