With all of the excitement about transfer rumors and confirmed deals, not to mention the Leeds United Ladies announcement and the huge news of the club reacquiring Elland Road, it was easy to forget that the team actually started training this week.
Young England star Ronaldo Vieira, fresh off of a brilliant showing at the Under 20 Toulon Tournament for England where he scored the winning penalty, is looking forward to the new season and working with the new Head Coach Thomas Christiansen. Talking with The Yorkshire Evening Post, Vieira had this to say:
“He’s said quite good things about us and he’s got his own ideas about how he is going to improve the squad and he’s got flexibility as well,
“He’s got his own ideas and he might change a few bits and do bits and pieces but it’s good.
“Everyone is excited to see what he brings into the team and to see if we can get back to where we belong.”
Vieira burst onto the scene last year with Leeds, breaking into the first team at the tender age of 18. He has a bright future ahead of him, and his play at the Toulon tournament showed the rest of England what Leeds fans already knew, that the midfielder is more than just the best named footballer in England, but an absolute star in the making.
Spending time at the Toulon Tournament with the England team seemed to bring out the best in Vieira. A late add to the squad, he responded by not only being named as a starter for two of the group matches, but also started in both the semifinals and the finals. Scoring the winning penalty to grab a second straight title in the youth tournament is just the icing on the cake for Vieira. An unknown player at the start of last season, Vieira has grabbed every opportunity given to him in the past year, and has made his selection for the Leeds United first team go from novelty to expected. He more than earned his new contract that he signed back in May, and expect to see him get more England call-ups in the near future.
Vieira had only positive things to say about his experience with the England team, saying:
“But it was a good experience, not just for me but for the whole team and that will hopefully help me throughout the season.
“I was playing against different people with different styles and against different countries and the way they play might be a bit different to the way we play. It’s just more about the stuff you learn when you play an international – it’s different to the Football League.
“It was good, it was obviously a new group as not everyone had played together and there were a few new lads as well, including myself.
“It’s been a positive summer for me in signing a new deal and then going away with England, I couldn’t have asked for more. Now it’s back to work to see where we get to this season.”
So while Vieira was only really known to Leeds fans last year, after a successful summer Vieira looks primed to take the next step in his development. Expect to see him play more next year, and to see his game develop to an even higher level. Vieira will be part of a team that is expected to do great things this season. Leeds have a great opportunity to hit the ground running and put last year’s slide out of the playoff spots behind them under a new manager and with new faces to add depth and creativity to the squad. Here’s to a successful season for Vieira and United.