Despite leaving Elland Road more than a year ago, Leeds United fans continue to take a keen interest in Ronaldo Vieira’s career following his surprise sale to Sampdoria.
Vieira spent a brief period in Leeds’s academy before establishing himself in the club’s first-team. He went on to make over 70 senior appearances, and produced some outstanding displays along the way.
So it was no surprise that the £6.2 million sale (fee reported by the Guardian) caught so many off-guard. It certainly added to the pressure on Kalvin Phillips and the signings who arrived in the wake of Vieira’s exit.
Given Phillips’s incredible success under Marcelo Bielsa, it is debatable whether Leeds have missed Vieira too much. He would certainly improve the squad if he was still around, but he would perhaps not play as often he would have liked.
That is, of course, unless Bielsa had visions of using him in a previously-unfamiliar role, which hardly seems unlikely.
With Vieira moving abroad to join a club who play in one of Europe’s top leagues, there has been plenty of intrigue from the fans back in Yorkshire regarding how he is getting on in Italy.
And perhaps Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani may now be even more interested to see how he gets on.
That is because Sampdoria have announced that Claudio Ranieri has become their new manager after a poor start to the season.
Not only is Ranieri a Premier League-winning boss, but he is also someone that Radrizzani reportedly wanted at Leeds at one stage.
ESPN reported back in 2017 that the Whites had made the Italian a top target as they looked to replace Garry Monk. And Radrizzani mentioned Ranieri to Sky Sports as the kind of boss that he would have been interested in ahead of Paul Heckingbottom’s appointment.
Of course, Ranieri is yet to add a stint at Leeds to his vast CV. But it will be interesting to see how Vieira gets on working under the former Leicester City boss.
With Bielsa currently at the helm at Leeds, it is incredibly unlikely that Radrizzani will regret any managerial decisions that he has made.
But perhaps that may not stop the Leeds owner keeping an eye on how Vieira develops working under a manager he clearly has a lot of respect for.