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Leeds United get Ronaldo Vieira to commit to Elland Road

England U-20 star Vieira signs four year contract

Liverpool v Leeds United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final
Vieira against Liverpool in the EFL Cup. Could he appear against Liverpool in the PL in 2018?
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Well, that was quick.

After announcing that manager Garry Monk was signed to a contract for at least one more year, the U-20 England international Ronaldo Vieira has signed up for four more years at Elland Road. The 18-year old midfielder marks the first “signing” of the Radrizzani era, and locking up a young talent such as Vieira is a wonderful sign that Leeds United will be run as a proper football club under the Italian, hopefully leaving the nonsense and chaos of previous ownerships behind.

The 2017 Young Player of the Year award winner put pen to paper today, confirming his commitment to the club for the foreseeable future. Vieira was an unknown going into this past season, but made his mark on the club in the middle of the park, going on to appear in 38 games for the Whites. His first goal for the club was a dramatic winner for United against Norwich City at Carrow Road, scoring in stoppage time after coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute.

Vieira made 24 starts in the Championship this past season and appeared another 10 times as a substitute. He also appeared in four matches in the League Cup for Leeds, scoring the winning penalty at Elland Road against Norwich to advance to the quarterfinals against Liverpool and a trip to Anfield. He probably wishes he could play Norwich every week.

Ronaldo Vieira moved to England when he was 11 with his family, after starting his youth career in Portugal with Lisbon giants Benfica. The current England U-20 international was born in Guinea-Bissau. He was only signed by Leeds United in May of 2016 after appearing for amateur team York College in York.

Make no mistake, while this seems like a no-brainer, Leeds usually would have screwed this all up, either waiting too long to extended the young star’s contract or made a terrible offer or sold him once a decent price was offered. Signing big-name transfers gets everyone excited, but one of the keys to running a successful club on a smaller budget in the Championship is to develop talent. Leeds is not Chelsea or Manchester City who can just buy any player they want and can absorb poor signings, they have to be sustainable and committing good young players to contracts is one of the ways to be sustainable and carry the team forward towards the Premier League.