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Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira seals Sampdoria switch
Wednesday, 1st Aug 2018 19:54 by @LucasMonk_

The precocious midfielder has departed for Italy just two years after making his first senior appearance for United.

Leeds United have today confirmed the departure of midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, who has moved to U.C. Sampdoria of Serie A for an undisclosed fee. The 20-year-old has signed a lucrative five-year contract with the Genoese side, who finished 10th in Italy's top-flight last season.

Vieira initially joined United in September 2015 following a successful trial, and made his debut for the club the following May in a 1-1 draw away to Preston North End before establishing himself as a first-team regular under the tutelage Garry Monk in the 2016-17 season.

In what was to prove Monk's only season in charge at Elland Road, Vieira made an impressive 34 appearances, and notably scored a dramatic last-gasp winner in an enthralling 3-2 victory away to Norwich City, as United fell just short of securing a play-off berth.

Although the Guinea-Bissauan found regular appearances and consistent form difficult to come by throughout last season - he made six fewer appearances and was plagued by a knee injury for several months - the move has come as an appreciable shock to many supporters.

Only days after Andrea Radrizzani completed his full takeover of the club last summer, Vieira was signed to a lengthy four-year contract, which implied that he would remain with the Whites for many years to come.

However, it is understood that the player, who had had no desire to leave West Yorkshire, did not feature heavily in new head coach Marcelo Bielsa's plans for the forthcoming season, which perchance is the reasoning behind United's acceptance of Sampdoria's offer.

Sampdoria were always in the market for a midfielder after the sale of Uruguay's World Cup star Lucas Torreira to Premier League side Arsenal, and Vieira is expected to feature regularly for the club throughout the coming season. He leaves Leeds having made 71 appearances and having scored two goals.

Following Vieira out of the Elland Road exit door is 28-year-old Luke Murphy, after the former Crewe midfielder, who has spent time on loan with Burton Albion in recent seasons, had his contract terminated by mutual consent.

Photo: Action Images

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