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Ronaldo Vieira must start v Fulham after Bolton performance

Championship

Ronaldo Vieira must start v Fulham after Bolton performance

The England youth international answered many critics with his Bolton display.

Leeds United take on Fulham this evening in the championship, looking to build on their Good Friday win over Bolton Wanderers. The West Yorkshire side took all three points in the clash, with what was only Paul Heckingbottom’s second win since taking over from Thomas Christiansen.

One man who has surely played himself into a starting role against the Cottagers has to be midfielder Ronaldo Vieira. There is no doubt his season took an upward turn last week. After receiving something of a shock recall to the England under-20 squad, he was then handed his first start for Leeds since the February clash with Derby County.

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)

Vieira has had a tough campaign so far but against Bolton, he looked like the young midfield maestro who had burst onto the scene at Leeds last season.

Energetic and mobile he added a new dimension to the heart of Leeds’ midfield, which has been a major problem area this season.

His energy in midfield allowed Eunan O’Kane to focus on the better areas of his game and once the match was over Leeds fans poured onto social media to commend the youngster.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 19: Britt Assombalonga of Middlesbrough holds off a challenge from Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Middlesbrough at Elland Road on November 19, 2017 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

At just 19-years-old a lot of pressure has been put on to Vieira’s shoulders this season and a struggle with tendonitis has not helped him in his bid to be a regular starter under Christiansen or Heckingbottom.

But this performance spoke volumes about Vieira’s character. It showed that when the cards are on the table and his back is against the wall, the teenager will fight for his starting place.

Leeds need that embattled mentality in the middle of the park if they are to get anything against high-flying Fulham at Craven Cottage this evening.

After the way he answered his critics against Bolton, Vieira has surely made himself the first name on the Leeds team-sheet for this evening’s clash.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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