Many Leeds United fans have been left disappointed at the recent sale of Ronaldo Vieira. The England under-21 international has joined Italian side Sampdoria in a deal reportedly worth £6.2 million.
For many Leeds fans this appears to be a mistake. The Guinea-Bissau born midfielder may not have had an impressive 2017-18, with injury trouble plaguing him. However, in 2016-17 he was a revelation under Garry Monk – earning rave reviews from opposing managers and pundits.
Now he looks set to star in Italian football and fans in West Yorkshire are wondering if their club has made a big mistake.
However, one former Leeds player goes to show that early promise does not mean everything.
Alex Mowatt broke onto the scene in 2013 and the youngster looked like being a future Leeds star. In 2014-15 he was the club’s player of the year and was linked with £7 million moves to Liverpool, Everton and Hull City that summer.
Leeds decided to keep Mowatt but his form started to dip dramatically. By 2017 he was not in the first-team picture and with his contract expiring was sold to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley for a cut-price fee reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post to be around £500,000.
His time with the Tykes has not exactly been a success. After struggling in his first six months at the club, Mowatt was loaned out to Oxford United last season.
Vieira, could, of course, go the way of Lewis Cook. He has proven himself an excellent talent and is now in the England frame. Or, with his injury trouble last season and his recent drop in form, he could be on the same pathway as Mowatt. It is a gamble Leeds have had to take and they decided the latter seems more likely. If in two years time he is worth what they got for Mowatt, then this will be a shrewd piece of business.