Thomas Christiansen insists Leeds' Ronaldo Vieira remains very important player for Whites

Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United closes down Ben Osborn of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on January 25,...

Ronaldo Vieira has not featured often for Leeds United this season, but Thomas Christiansen is adamant that he will play more frequently in future.

Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on September 26, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales.

Thomas Christiansen has told Radio Yorkshire's official YouTube channel that Ronaldo Vieira remains a very important member of the Leeds squad, and promised that he will be used during the campaign.

It has been a frustrating season for Vieira. Despite signing a new contract in the summer, the teenager has had to watch from the bench for much of the campaign, with the partnership between Eunan O'Kane and Kalvin Phillips largely limiting him to just three substitute appearances in the Championship this term.

Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United closes down Ben Osborn of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on January 25,...

Based on his potential, fans would be forgiven for having concerns that leaving him out so often may either harm his development or leave him considering his future. But Christiansen insisted that he will get his chance as the season goes on.

"We have a lot of players in that position who are doing well, Kalvin, Eunan and Mateusz Klich - four players, important players in that position," he told Radio Yorkshire's official YouTube channel.

Ross McCormack of Aston Villa is put under pressure from Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on December...

"In the beginning, Kalvin and Eunan had been the ones who had played, and I have tried to change a little between Mateusz and Ronny. Ronny had a problem in the last game against Sheffield Wednesday and he had not been training until two days ago so we will see. But he's a very important player for the team. We will use him for sure."

With Phillips and O'Kane arguably having their worst game of the season as a pairing last time out as Wednesday claimed a 3-0 win, some may have felt that the door may have opened slightly for Vieira to earn that first league start of the campaign.

However, with the international break giving the likes of O'Kane and Phillips a rest and Christiansen time to reflect on their performances over the course of the season, it would certainly be no surprise if the pair maintained their place in the starting lineup at the weekend, especially with the 19-year-old carrying a knock against the Owls. 

But Vieira should perhaps take encouragement from Christiansen's pledge that he will play more often moving forward. And with the games about to come thick and fast over the coming weeks, it may not be too long before Vieira gets the chance to prove exactly why he should have featured more prominently during the opening games of the season.

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