Sheff Utd man believes his club’s form kept him out of national side – ‘my team doesn’t keep the ball’

Ciaran McCarthy
Vinicius Souza, Sheffield United, February 2024
Sheffield United midfielder Vinicius Souza in discussion with teammate

Vinicius Souza believes Sheffield United’s form counted against him in relation to a Brazil call-up, as “my team doesn’t keep the ball much” and that’s a vital aspect of playing for the Selecao.

The Blades have been the poorest side in the Premier League this season. That’s a title they can share with Burnley, with both sides currently on 14 points – 18th-placed Luton are seven points ahead of the pair.

The South Yorkshire outfit have lose 20 of their 28 games, and have struggled for any sort of control in most of their fixtures.

Midfield man Souza has been a shining light in an otherwise dull team. He’s made 105 tackles in the league this season – second only to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, and 22 more than the next-highest tally.

But while he’s been able to sweep up well, he’s not been able to showcase many other skills as a result of the Blades’ poor control of games.

He believes playing there at the moment will count against him in terms of Brazilian selection, as he can’t show whether he’d be a good fit for their style.

“Honestly? No,” he told Coluna do Fla on if he expected a call-up.

“Not because of me, but because of the situation at my club. I think that for the national team it’s a bit of a problem. That’s my opinion. But not in relation to my football.

“I think that for my football I could [get called up], I really could. But there’s the whole thing, you know.

“My team doesn’t keep the ball much either. That’s very important for the national team. So it’s going to weigh a bit. And the players who went can defend and have the ball, so they can stand out more. And, well, the guys are doing a brilliant job too. So I was really cool.”

Souza has been able to showcase his defensive abilities very well. In comparison to positional peers in top-five leagues over the last year, he ranked in the 99th percentile for tackles, along with very good numbers in clearances, aerials won and blocks.

If the Blades manage to play better football in the coming seasons, or he gets a move elsewhere, he could plead his case in terms of his other assets, with a view to potentially making his Brazil debut at some point.

READ MORE: Spurs can no longer be relegated as Bournemouth maintain Premier League title dream