Graham Smyth has dropped an update on the future of Leeds United winger Ian Poveda.
In a recent article for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Smyth revealed that the 22-year-old, who had returned to Thorp Arch from his season-long loan deal at Blackburn Rovers as a result of an ankle injury sustained last November, is now set to return to the Championship side on a trial basis this week.
The journalist goes on to state that Tony Mowbray will then decide whether or not he would like the former England U20 international to rejoin his first-team squad for the remainder of the second-tier campaign – with Rovers still being in with a shot of securing a top-six finish in the league.
While it is true that, after making 16 first-team appearances in 2020/21, Poveda has not progressed as many at Elland Road would have hoped this season – something that is largely down to his long-term injury – the youngster would nevertheless still appear to have a bright future with the Premier League side.
Indeed, despite Paul Robinson’s recent claim that the 22-year-old’s future at Leeds is “up in the air” at present, Victor Orta’s comments at the time of the winger’s loan switch to Ewood Park would appear to suggest otherwise.
Regarding the forward, the Spanish sporting director said: “We feel Ian can make an impact here in the future and we’ve been very impressed with how Blackburn have developed players such as Harvey Elliott at Liverpool. We hope Ian can get some game time and come back to us next season ready to fight.”
And, while it is undeniable that the £11k-per-week talent – who Robinson also dubbed an “exciting” player – initially struggled to find his feet at Blackburn, his performance in the fixture before he sustained his injury against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United proved that the former Manchester City starlet is a “wonderful talent” – as Mowbray claimed.
Indeed, in Rovers’ 3-1 victory over the Blades, Poveda turned in a man of the match display, scoring one goal and registering one assist, as well as making two key passes, creating one big chance, completing five dribbles and winning eight duels – with these returns seeing the forward earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 8.5 – the best of any player to feature in the match.
As such, should the £1.8m-rated prodigy be able to refind this level of form upon his return to Blackburn over the remainder of the season, it would appear highly advisable for Jesse Marsch to consider reinstating the 22-year-old in his first-team squad ahead of the club’s 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, with Raphinha being heavily linked with a £60m move away from Elland Road this summer, should Poveda go on to fulfil his undoubted potential next season, the Englishman could well go on to become the Whites’ next wide attacking sensation – potentially even turning into a player who is just as important to the club as the Brazilain currently is.