In football the cliché that seems to do the rounds is ‘remember the name,’ but with Leeds United’s latest wonderkid it’s pretty hard to forget. The name Ronaldo Vieira is the buzz around Elland Road leading up to the start of the 2016/17 season this weekend and with good reason.
Born in Guinea-Bissau and raised in Portugal. Ronaldo left the much respected Benfica academy in search of success in English football. After brief spells in junior football he was snapped up by Leeds United in 2015 after a successful trial period. With less than a year of U21 development action Vieria is all set to break into the first team after an impressive summer.
The Elland Road faithful came away from the final warm up game against Atalanta raving about Vieira. We’d just seen a midfield master class and one which showed maturity beyond his youthful years. After the departure of Lewis Cook, the Leeds fans were at lost to who could replace the dynamic work rate and talent of Cook. The answer appears to be have been staring us in the face for a while. After what we’ve seen up to now, Vieira could easily step into Cook’s shoes with a bit of time, patience and guidance.
Last season, we spent a lot of time with the youth coach’s at Thorp Arch and all they talked about was how good this kid was. We witnessed it for ourselves in a number of U21 games and we can definitely say he is ready for Championship football. Will he start week in week out? Unlikely, but can he make a difference in games? Definitely.
Let’s hope the talents of Ronaldo Vieira will grab the headlines rather than his name.
Reporter – Matt McKeith