Pundit Exclusive: Brilliant Leeds 20-yr-old ready for first XI - ‘He's Very, Very Quick’
Leeds United winger Ian Poveda is ready to push for a place for a regular place in the first-team, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds forward and boyhood Whites fan believes the 20-year-old’s mentality and physicality have drastically changed since last season.
Poveda played a starring role in Leeds United Under-23s 2-0 victory over Norwich City at the weekend where he opened the scoring.
The England Under-20 international moved to Elland Road from Manchester City in January but was limited to just four Championship appearances last season.
The winger has already featured three times in the Premier League this campaign but is yet to start a league game in the top-flight.
This site revealed earlier this month that Leeds coaches and players have been blown away by the London-born ace’s performances in training.
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And Whelan believes Poveda is beginning to reach his potential.
He told Football Insider: “He’s growing into what we thought we were buying.
“Last year we didn’t see hardly anything of him. This year now he’s had more time to work with the manager, the staff, and the players around him.
“You can see now when you talk about people changing games and bringing a different dimension, he’s very, very quick, got great feet, very tricky, likes to run at players. Very much like Raphinha as well.
“He just looks a lot stronger this season, body-wise, mentality wise. He looks like he’s there to push people rather than just take up a bench place.”
After Poveda’s second-half cameo against his former side Manchester City earlier this month Marcelo Bielsa admitted his surprise about the youngster’s development.
He said: “He’s a competitive player and he has physical resources which I haven’t seen before. He’s a player who in sprints and distance covered has immense values.”
In other news, Football Insider can REVEAL a Leeds United 24-year-old frozen out by Bielsa is in line to be binned.