Leeds United: Milanic is ready to give debut to Adryan

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Darko Milanic says Adryan is ready for a Leeds United debut and firmly in his thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday.

The club’s head coach moved to clarify Adryan’s position after the Brazilian midfielder was omitted again from United’s goalless draw with Reading

Milanic left him out of his 18-man squad on Wednesday night having also overlooked Adryan for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Brentford, the Slovenian’s first game in charge.

The on-loan Flamengo playmaker has not appeared for United’s first team since joining the club towards the end of the summer transfer window and Leeds have limited him to outings with their development squad.

Recent reports claimed that Adryan’s senior debut was being delayed by “bureaucratic issues” surrounding his transfer from Brazil, though Leeds insist the 20-year-old has been registered and available for the past month.

The issues with paperwork are understood to relate to an agreement which will allow United to sign Adryan on a permanent basis for around £3m next summer – issues which have now been resolved – but speaking last week, owner Massimo Cellino told the YEP: “I’m waiting for a letter from Flamengo but it doesn’t stop him playing. Adryan can play.”

Staff at Thorp Arch took the view last month that Adryan needed time to settle and adapt to English football before playing in the Championship.

Caretaker Neil Redfearn named him on the bench three times during his spell in temporary charge but opted not to blood the midfielder.

Milanic, however, watched Adryan in an Under-21 match between Leeds and Queens Park Rangers at Thorp Arch on Monday and hinted that he would include him in the squad for tomorrow’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

“He played on Monday with the Under-21 team in their championship and he did very well,” Milanic said. “That means he’s ready.

“He played well, I saw him for the first time and I’ll think about him.”

United were hindered by a lack of creativity on Wednesday, forcing Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici into a solitary save during a goalless evening at Elland Road.

Leeds suffered from the same weakness away to Brentford and they will come up against the tightest defence in the Championship during their meeting with Sheffield Wednesday.

Stuart Gray’s side drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town on Tuesday and have conceded only seven league goals since the start of the season, though their reputation was chequered by a 7-0 thrashing by Manchester City in round three of the Capital One Cup.

Gray was in the crowd at Elland Road on Wednesday as Leeds and Reading contested an uneventful stalemate.

Milanic stressed the need to secure his first win as head coach this weekend, saying: “It’s extremely important. But I know that it will be a different game tomorrow.

“Sheffield Wednesday play differently and I don’t think it will be easy.

“They have one day more to regenerate than us but we have to do our best.”

Milanic made two changes to his staring line-up in midweek, bringing Casper Sloth into the side and unexpectedly replacing Stephen Warnock with Liam Cooper at left-back.

“I want to keep all of the players ready,” Milanic said. “I played with Cooper because there was an extremely good player there, (Nick) Blackman.

“We played with a diamond and I went with Sloth because he is there between the lines.

“He can make the life of the opponents difficult but we didn’t do that enough. I expected us to create more chances.”

Gaetano Berardi

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