Well, as unlikely as a potential deal for Ronaldo Vieira looked yesterday, things can change in an instant.
The midfielder had a brilliant season under former manager Garry Monk, but after winning the Toulon Tournament with the England U21s in the summer of 2017, he struggled for match time under former manager Thomas Christiansen.
He suffered some injury problems the 2017-18 season, and even when he was re-introduced into the side on a more permanent basis by then boss Paul Heckingbottom, his form was inconsistent.
Vieira has been played as a central defender as part of a back three by new Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, but that’s not going to be a good fit for Vieira. He’s also spent time in the central of the midfield, but Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich have looked much better in the role, and even Chelsea loanee Lews Baker looks more capable with the ball at his feet.
Vieira leaving Leeds after only two seasons will remind every Leeds fan of the departure of Lewis Cook. While the rumoured fee for Vieira seems lower than it should in this market, it’s still not nearly as poor as the deal for Cook, and hopefully the club has put in sell-on clauses for the player, because if he flourishes at Sampdoria, one of the big boys of Serie A or La Liga could come calling for a big money deal.
This is not a great deal for Leeds, but until Leeds get back into the Premier League and establish themselves, deals like this are going to keep happening. As much as it hurts to see one of our own move on, Serie A might be too much to turn down for Vieira. Also, the club can reinvest some of the money in a player that better fits Bielsa’s system, such as a ball-playing central defender that seems desperately needed.
Hopefully these funds are reinvested quickly into a new player or two in this window, or this sale will be a rather poor decision.