After coming on as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last week, Leeds starlet Ian Poveda must surely be unleashed by Marcelo Bielsa today in the Premier League against Manchester United.
The Whites boss turned to the 21-year-old for the final 23 minutes of the game upon replacing Helder Costa, who once again failed to impress. Indeed, speaking after the match, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan insisted that Poveda’s cameo was far more effective than anything that Costa produced on the night.
Should Poveda start today?
Whelan told Football Insider: “There is something there that is not right because Poveda came on and did more in that short time than Costa did in the 60 minutes he was on the field.
“He is fourth in the pecking order in terms of wingers for me. Poveda has to come before him now. He is direct, exciting and wants to take people on. He wants to do his job as a winger and Costa does not. He plays it safe and he’s negative. At least Poveda runs at people. He is positive and that is what a winger should do. Costa has been a massive flop. A real disappointment again.”
While a game against Manchester United may seem like a big one to throw him into, it could be the kind of surprise move which catches Ole Gunnar Solskjaer off guard.
Talking about Poveda earlier this campaign, Whelan said: “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.”
With Raphinha set to be ruled out, Leeds could get the closest to replacing him by someone who’s “very much like” him in Poveda.