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Ronaldo Vieira gets U20 England call-up after all

Midfielder will join squad ahead of match against Portugal

Leeds United v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Well, better late than never, right?

Leeds United’s Ronaldo Vieira has been called up for the England U20s who will face Portugal at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium tomorrow, 27 March. Vieira has been called up for the U20s last summer when the team went to the Toulon Tournament in France, where he was an integral part of the team that defended their title.

Vieira hasn’t been seen in the first team as much as fans would have expected this year after his breakout season last year. He’s apparently been battling fitness issues this season, and only got his first start in the Championship in October away at Ashton Gate in the victory over Bristol City.

Vieira’s performances also dipped in January, and he hasn’t been a regular player under Paul Heckingbottom, something that would be a tad surprising if not for his issues with fitness. He missed time in early January after being injured against Burton Albion, and after missing a few games, he still hasn’t looked fully fit or in proper condition.

Hopefully Vieira’s inclusion in the U20s means that he is fully fit again, as when he’s played up to his usual standard, he’s an important member of the squad, and more importantly, it will mean that Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips won’t have to start along side Adam Forshaw. Neither O’Kane or Phillips have been consistent at all since Forshaw joined the club from Middlesbrough in January, and a lot of fans have been wondering what it will take for Vieira to get the nod to start alongside Forshaw. Perhaps his inclusion in the England U20s will spur him to additional playing time at Leeds.

Leeds U23 goalkeeper Will Huffer was also sent home with an knock from the U20 side after receiving a surprise call-up, so at least one Leeds player will be in the team when they take on Portugal in Manchester.