Leeds ace Vieira: What Lewis Cook told me during our phone call last week
By Harry Sykes
Ronaldo Vieira has revealed that former Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook called him last week to offer his England congratulations.
The central midfielder, 18, explained “it was nice” to chat to Cook, who quit Elland Road last summer to join Premier League club Bournemouth.
Vieira has taken Cook’s place in Leeds’ midfield, albeit in a deeper role than that in which his predecessor was predominantly deployed after being fast-tracked into the starting XI by manager Garry Monk.
A brilliant debut campaign for the teenager, who does not turn 19 until July, was capped last week when he was selected for the England Under-20 squad for the Toulon Tournament in France later this month.
“I’ve had to change a few holiday plans as I had a trip booked, but I’m sure it will be worth it,” Vieira said, as he reflected on his debut campaign to the Yorkshire Evening Post. “I never expected to have a season like I have, I thought I’d maybe make a few appearances and mainly play Under-23 football, so it has been great and hopefully I’ll be able to carry on like this next season.
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“Playing for the national team is a new experience for me, but I have played in many tournaments that I have won at a younger age, so that is something I am used to now.
“When the squad got announced I had a call from Lewis Cook congratulating me and we had a good chat.
“Obviously he was at Leeds and was called up by England for the first time when he was here, so it was nice to speak to him and get that.
“If I get my chance I need to make sure I take it, like I have done at Leeds and hopefully I’ll be able to kick on from there.
“It will be a privilege to play with everyone in the England team, you always want to play with the best players and hopefully we can go to Toulon and win the tournament.”
Vieira made 38 appearances for Leeds in the recently completed season, including 34 in league matches, 24 of which he started.
He frequently got the nod to start over more experienced performers, including Republic of Ireland international and fellow academy product Kalvin Phillips.
The emergence of Vieira was also key to Monk allowing Toumani Diagouraga and Luke Murphy to go out on loan in the second half of the season, as well as the January sale of Alex Mowatt to Barnsley.
In other Leeds United news, a deal worth multiple millions will be tired up by the Yorkshire giants next week and the fans will be over the moon.