Ronaldo Vieira made quite an impression when he burst onto the scene under Garry Monk last season, but I think it`s fair to say he has found his second full season in the first team squad a bit more of a challenge.
The 19 year old was picked regularly by Thomas Christiansen but under Paul Heckingbottom he has found starting opportunities harder to come by. Speaking yesterday, our manager confirmed the player is fit to play but he isn`t being selected currently. He is quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post as saying:
‘He’s been training well.Everyone gets treated the same in terms of information and in terms of time we spend with them because you want everyone to understand that a team is never picked.’
‘They have to earn the right to get in the team and you never know when there could be an opportunity for those players. He’s been training with a smile on his face and we’ll keep pushing him because it’s up to Ronny to force his way into the team and stay in.’
Under Hecky, the midfielder has made just one start, in the 2-2 draw against Derby and even in that match he was subbed on the hour mark for Kalvin Phillips. I think it is safe to say that our no.25 has some way to go before convincing the boss he merits regular first team football.
There have been mitigating circumstances as to why the teenager hasn`t hit the ground running this campaign. He was part of a successful England Under 20 side who won the Toulon tournament in the summer, and he had very little time off before starting the season. Combined with some knee problems, it meant he was eased back in to the first team fold.
The stop-start nature of the campaign means he has inevitably lacked rhythm; something that is crucial for a young player to play with more consistency. What we have seen from Ronny in regards to his form is a consequence of this. He has looked off the pace, dwelling on the ball and not quite looking the same player as last season.
Now out of contention for the playoffs, it seems the perfect time to put him back in alongside Adam Forshaw for an extended run of matches. Both Eunan O`Kane and Phillips have struggled for form, and it seems a good idea to at least see where Vieira is at before the start of next season. What do you think? Let me know in the poll!