Leeds United: Adryan poised for Derby County return

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Adryan is likely to return to the fold for Leeds United’s trip to Derby County after Neil Redfearn chose to rest the “tired” Brazilian during the club’s Boxing Day defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Adryan was a surprise omission from United’s squad on Friday, left out by Redfearn on the back of his displays against Fulham and Nottingham Forest, but an 11th loss of the season could see the playmaker recalled at Pride Park tomorrow night.

Redfearn said Adryan had looked “leggy” in the lead-up to a 2-0 loss at home to Wigan after a string of appearances in United’s starting line-up.

The 20-year-old – on loan from Brazilian club Flamengo and midway through his first season in England – secured a regular place in the aftermath of Redfearn’s appointment as head coach last month but he has completed only two 90-minute outings for Leeds and Redfearn substituted him after 66 minutes of a 1-1 draw at Forest nine days ago.

Redfearn said: “He hasn’t missed much football recently. He’s played a lot.

“He’s come from a different standard of football and to be honest he’s done really well. But it’s different here. It’s a tough and unforgiving league. Against Fulham and Forest I saw it. He looked a little bit leggy, a little bit tired.

“I thought it was the right thing to rest him and give him a little break because we’ve got a lot of games coming up. There’s the Derby game and then Sunderland (in the FA Cup) on Sunday. There’s lots for him to play in.”

Redfearn conceded that United’s 2-0 defeat to Wigan could result in another rethink ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Derby. Michael Tonge replaced Adryan on Friday – Tonge’s first league start for more than four months – but the failure to take advantage of a badly out-of-form Wigan side intensified the threat of relegation with Leeds now four points above the Championship bottom three.

“We’ve got to look at the squad and make sure we’ve got the right people out there at Derby,” Redfearn said.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino wants to make Adryan’s move from Flamengo permanent next month, though a transfer embargo incurred by Leeds for a breach of Financial Fair Play rules is unlikely to make that deal possible in the short term.

United’s agreement with Flamengo – finalised two days before the end of the summer window – contains a clause giving Leeds the right to tie down the Brazil Under-20 international on a long-term contract for a fee in excess of £3m.

Leeds will be under an embargo throughout January, however, and despite loopholes in the rules freeing embargoed clubs to sign players up to a certain cost in wages, Football League regulations do not allow the payment of transfer or loan fees.

Adryan told the YEP last month that he wanted a full-time move to Leeds, saying: “I can’t say what will happen definitely but I want to stay. When the season finishes I hope I’ll be able to stay.

“I’m happy here and I like the football. I would be happy to be here, to be in the team for a long time.”