Few Leeds United players had loftier expectations heaped on him than Ronaldo Vieira. Vieira was the breakout star of the 2016-17 season, breaking through to the first team under former manager Garry Monk.
| #Throwback to last June when Ronaldo’s penalty sealed the @TournoiToulon for the #YoungLions pic.twitter.com/8ThaLhnCU2— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 21, 2018
He followed up a remarkable 2016-17 season with a trip to the Toulon Tournament in the summer, where he scored the winning penalty kick for England to defend their title at the U21 youth tournament held every summer in France.
Not gonna lie, this season was much more difficult for Vieira than the previous season. He was held out of the action for much of the first part of the year, after previous manager Thomas Christiansen held him back due to tendinitis in his knee. He made some appearances in the League Cup before making his first start of the year in the Championship against Bristol City in late October.
His play was more up and down than it had been the year before, with Vieira putting in some great performances that reminded everyone of the player that had burst on the scene the year before, while also putting in some appearances that reminded everyone that he is still a teenager.
Ronaldo Vieira vs. Burton:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) December 27, 2017
91% pass accuracy
2 tackles won
2 aerial duels won
1 blocked shot
1 peach of an assist #LUFC pic.twitter.com/zTwY2Q0RBo
Perhaps his best appearance of the season came on Boxing Day in the victory over Burton Albion. His passing was the best it had been all season, and it seemed like he was back to his old self. However, he did leave the match injured, and he never looked right again for weeks, if not the whole season.
Despite some inconsistent form down the stretch, Vieira has once again gotten the call to play in the Toulon Tournament for England, along with teammate Tom Pearce.
Final Season Grade: B-
It seems a little harsh to grade him this low, but Vieira didn’t have a great season compared to the expectations that fans, pundits, and the team alike all had for him. Perhaps it was the injuries, but apart from a few brilliant performances, he never really seemed like his dominant self this past year. He’s still a teenager, at least for a little while longer, and maybe a down year will keep the wolves of the Premier League away from the door to Thorp Arch, waving stacks of cash in order to tempt him away from Leeds.