The return of Ronaldo Vieira has been much talked about amongst Leeds United fans. His performances really tailed off after the New Year and an injury but yesterday he looked back to the Ronaldo Vieira this team can’t really do without. He partnered Eunan O’Kane, the Irish midfielder seems extremely short on confidence at the moment, games don’t seem to be helping his situation.
The midfield situation at Leeds United has been an issue for a while now and every time we seem to address it we realise we haven’t months later. It started with Liam Bridcutt and Toumani Diagouraga seemingly resolving it with Lewis Cook, then O’Kane arrived and replaced Bridcutt, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips broke into the side and this season Mateusz Klich was signed to improve that area. Klich never got his chance and that left O’Kane, Phillips and Vieira. Vieira is the best of the three but he hasn’t played well in long spells this season and Kalvin Phillips struggles massively with consistency. Eunan O’Kane started the season like a house on fire but has faded in worrying fashion. His ability on the ball is great when he’s confident but when he isn’t he can become more of an issue when he does have it. His problem is that if he isn’t playing well with the ball he doesn’t give us much off it, the other two can have poor games with the ball but physically impose themselves.
Ronaldo Vieira is one of the players that Leeds can build around in the future, he can be that good but he’s still very young and his form has also tailed off dramatically this season. His return yesterday was needed because Adam Forshaw was out injured. The £4.5 million signing in January from Middlesbrough is without doubt the pick of the central midfielders now and finding him a partner next season is crucial. Vieira will be around, and potentially Klich will get a chance. The signing of Yosuke Ideguchi hasn’t inspired because of a poor loan spell in Spain at Cultural Leonesa and the chances are slim he will be the answer in that position. Kalvin Phillips divides opinion right down the middle but the central midfield situation is what it is until May, and it was great to see Vieira back in form and picking up the man of the match award yesterday.