The last time Leeds won a game it was bossed in the middle of the park. Ronaldo Vieira partnered the incoming Kalvin Phillips and the pair were fantastic on the day. Vieira has now become the engine of the side ahead of the likes of Liam Bridcutt and Eunan O’Kane.
Too many people tried to convince each other that due to his age Vieira couldn’t play an important role this season, a theory that has since been blown out of the water. The midfielder was compared and was to be judged against the outgoing Lewis Cook, an impossible task? Not in the slightest, in fact I think if Leeds fans were to choose between the two players Vieira would win it hands down. Energy, confidence, strength, passion and ability in abundance he has been one of the most important players at the club this season and will almost certainly win the Young Player of the Year award next Saturday evening.
Vieira has had some difficult spells this season but seems to brush them off with ease and very quickly. Vieira doesn’t have bad games, just games where on a very rare occasion he can’t quite get into the game. At times this season I feel he has carried his partner in midfield, but when both are at it we can really control a game. When partnered with Phillips the pair tend to step up, games such as the home win to Aston Villa and Preston North End where he really dominate the game from the very off. He is the strongest player in that position physically and in my opinion he is the first pick, and even skipper Liam Bridcutt has fallen behind him.
It’s easy to try to big up the youth team players, the likes of Aiden White and Tom Lees were good examples where they wouldn’t have stayed at Leeds for as long if they weren’t developed through the youth system. To be fair Tom Lees has done very well since leaving Leeds but his performances in a Leeds shirt did leave much to the imagination. It wasn’t as simple as “blame Tom Lees” but he shouldn’t have been in the side by the end. Ronaldo Vieira is on another level and deserves all the credit he is getting at the moment. He is fit again for Saturday and for me he is up there with the back five and Wood on the team sheet, no brainer.