Leeds United: Darko dampens Adryan fervour

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Adryan’s long-awaited Leeds United debut could finally materialise in Rotherham tonight but head coach Darko Milanic has warned against excessive expectation, admitting the Brazilian midfielder is not yet ready for the full demands of the Championship.

Milanic said Adryan was in his thoughts ahead of Leeds’ visit to Rotherham United and wants the 20-year-old to bring “South America, Brazil, something a little bit different” to the team but he voiced concern about placing “too much pressure” on the talented youngster.

Adryan was a complex and high-profile signing in August, brought in on loan from Flamengo after Leeds owner Massimo Cellino persuaded his parent club to cancel a previous loan at Cagliari. United also negotiated a clause which will allow them to sign Adryan for around £3m at the end of this season.

But the playmaker has been limited to appearances with United’s Under-21s so far and was an unused substitute during three of their Championship games, the most recent a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday before the latest international break.

He was omitted from a development-squad game at Bristol City on Monday, however, and is likely to be in Milanic’s 18-man squad at the New York Stadium this evening, though Milanic did not confirm if the Brazilian would start.

“I have to think about each detail,” Milanic said. “He’s trained well and like everyone else, he’s in my mind. I have to think about the 11 who start the game.

“He can bring South America, Brazil to the team – something a little bit different.

“But I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. I don’t want that. I think he’s not prepared to play 40 games in the Championship now, not at this moment. He needs time.

“It’s another world, it is not the same as other leagues. And he is young.”

Adryan, a Brazil Under-20 international, is a product of Flamengo’s youth-team system and was highly-rated in Brazilian circles three years ago.

He moved on loan to Cagliari in Italy after a loss of form at Flamengo – taken to Sardinia by Cellino, the former Cagliari owner – and became one of Cellino’s prime summer transfer targets following the 58-year-old’s takeover of Leeds. The Brazilian was quoted earlier this week as saying: “It’s impossible not to think about Flamengo. I have a lot of affection for the club. I am a Flamengo player so let’s see what happens in the future. Flamengo will always be in my blood.”

Milanic, who is three games into his reign as head coach and looking for his first win in charge tonight, also played down the prospect of Leeds’ academy prospect Chris Dawson breaking into his squad this evening.

Milanic is worried about overloading his line-up with inexperienced footballers, saying: “We talk about the academy, about young players, and there are a lot of young players like Cook in the first XI.

“It’s extremely difficult to play only with young players. We have to talk about good players – getting better players, a better team.”

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