Leeds United staff and players have been blown away by some of Ian Poveda’s performances in training, Football Insider understands.
The winger, 20, is gradually being phased in Marcelo Bielsa’s team and delivered an eyecatching second-half cameo in last weekend’s 1-1 thriller against Man City.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Poveda is lighting up the club’s Thorp Arch headquarters with his trickery and pace, and is starting to look “unbelievable” at times.
Bielsa spoke warmly of Poveda’s improvement after the City clash and hailed recruitment chief Victor Orta for bring him to Leeds from Etihad Stadium in January.
The youngster replaced Ezgjan Alioski at the break and ran direct opponent Benjaimin Mendy ragged before he was taken off in the second period by Pep Guardiola.
Bielsa and his coaching staff have increasingly high hopes of Poveda and believe he can make a big impact in this season’s Premier League.
It is an opinion shared by former Leeds defender Danny Mills.
“I thought Poveda was superb when he came on,” he told Football Insider.
“He looked really sharp, full of energy and kept the ball really well. He cause a lot of problems for Mendy in the second-half and I think that is why Pep Guardiola decided to make the change.”
Poveda has made substitute appearances in Leeds’ last two Premier League matches and has now played seven times for the club although he is still waiting for his first goal.
Speaking about Poveda after the draw, Bielsa said: “He’s a very highly technical player. 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.
“This player came to Leeds thanks to Victor Orta and when I saw him I did not think he was going to have the evolution that he is having or the qualities that he is showing.”