By Noel Whelan

6th Mar, 2020 | 12:10pm

Exclusive: Noel Whelan makes significant Ian Poveda claim for rest of Leeds season

Noel Whelan claims that Leeds United winger Ian Poveda might not play at all this season if the current squad stays fit.

The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits that Marcelo Bielsa does not need the 20-year-old as part of his side right now.

The Argentine boss revealed at his press conference that the squad against Huddersfield would remain the same from the win over Hull City, meaning Poveda will once again miss out.

It leaves the winger waiting for his Leeds debut, having arrived from Manchester City during the January transfer window.

However, Whelan admits he cannot see the attacker getting much, if any, game time this season if the rest of the squad manage to stay fit and firing.

Asked about Poveda’s absence, Whelan told Football Insider: “I just don’t think we need him right now, to be honest.

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“We’ve got Alioski who’s better than him, more efficient because you can play him left wing-back and left midfield, he can go through the middle if needed. 

“Tyler Roberts is now vying for that striker position, like-for-like with Augustin now, so, yeah, I can’t see him featuring too much between now and the end of the season, to be quite honest with you. 

“If everyone stays fit, the way they are now, this will be the squad, the strongest squad, I can see that Leeds can put out and on the bench.” 

Poveda, who played once for Manchester City’s first-team before moving to Elland Road, appeared twice on the bench for Bielsa before dropping out of the matchday squads.

The manager already has the likes of Helder Costa, Pablo Hernandez and Jack Harrison to call upon when it comes to wingers.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the club are fearful over one attacking talent at Elland Road.