Brazilian midfielder Adryan admitted today that a bit-part year at Leeds United had left him “very sad” and in two minds about the option of returning to the club next season.
The on-loan Flamengo player voiced his frustration after failing to make the squad for tomorrow’s clash with Nottingham Forest, a continuation of his struggle for appearances in the second half of the Championship season.
Leeds fielded him in a development-squad game against Forest at Thorp Arch this afternoon and speaking after a 1-1 draw, Adryan said his lack of opportunities since moving to England last summer had cast doubt on the possibility of him remaining at Elland Road long-term.
The 20-year-old was signed by Massimo Cellino, United disqualified owner, on a season-long loan in August, one of the club’s most high-profile transfers in a busy summer window.
He did not make his senior debut until the middle of October, however, and a further 11 appearances before the end of December have been followed by two in the second half of the term.
Adryan played as a substitute in United’s 3-2 defeat to Watford on February 28 but had failed to make the bench in United’s two previous matches. He was left out of Neil Redfearn’s 18-man squad for the following fixture at home to Ipswich Town.
Leeds’ head coach named him as a substitute away at Wigan Athletic last weekend but Adryan will not take part in Forest’s visit to Elland Road tomorrow.
“Really, I don’t know what’s happening,” he told the YEP. “I played 12 games, I was starting games, but then I was out of the squad.
“The coaches, they just say ‘keep going, keep training and doing good. Don’t stop. Now you’re seeing how English football is different to Brazil, with not so much time on the ball.’ I’m keeping going and now I’m waiting on another chance. That’s it.
“Sometimes I ask (for an explanation) but not too much. I was playing many games and now I’m not in the squad. The last game I was on the bench and two games before that I got into the game, I played and afterwards and everybody said ‘yes, you played very well. Keep it going like this.’
“Then the next game after that, I’m not in the squad. I played well in a game but I’m not in the squad. Then the last game I was on the bench. Now I’m not in the squad again.
“It not frustrating. It’s like I’m very sad. I want to play every time. I know I can play and I trust in myself. That’s true.”
Adryan, who cut short a loan at Cellino’s former club Cagliari to join Leeds from Flamengo, said he was keen to stay with United beyond this summer but admitted he would be reluctant to commit to another year of few chances.
Leeds have an option to sign Adryan permanently at the end of his loan, though a permanent move from Flamengo would cost in the region of £3m.
“My price for the president (Cellino) to buy me is a little bit high,” Adryan said. “Maybe I’m not playing because he wants to buy my cheaper. If I play good, maybe other clubs will come and get me. I don’t know, it’s impossible.
“I want to stay in England and stay in Leeds. But if it’s like this all the year, I don’t know. I don’t want it to stay like this for another season.”
Redfearn appeared to give Adryan hope of another run in the team last month, saying: “He’s worked hard in training, he’s applied himself a lot better and I think the penny is starting to drop.
“Allied to the ability he’s got, he’s putting in a shift and that’s all I ask.”
Adryan completed 90 minutes with United’s Under-21s earlier today.
The Brazilian had a hand in Leeds’ first-half goal, creating space for Lewis Walters to tee-up a Brian Montenegro finish, but Forest forced an injury-time equaliser through Josh McDonald.
Forest remain six points clear of United’s development squad at the top of their league table.
Adryan said: “I have to keep training hard every time and I’ll always do my best, in the Under-21s or the first team.
“I don’t know what’s happening but I have to keep going, train hard and I’ll be alright. I prepare myself always. I still believe I can play in this season and if not, I’ll train hard. But I’m prepared to play. My mind is alright.”