After signing from Manchester City back in January, it’s fair to say it’s been a slow and gradual start to life at Leeds United for Ian Poveda.
Marcelo Bielsa has been reluctant to throw him straight into the deep end at Elland Road, and this season has seen him make only seven appearances in the Premier League – none of them have seen him play more than 45 minutes either.
Competition for places on the right-hand side is significant, particularly with the Whites bringing in Raphinha in the summer transfer window too, with the Brazilian already showing flashes of his potential.
But with reports claiming that Leeds are contemplating making a move for Wolves speedster Adama Traore, it’s Poveda who may be looking over his shoulder at potentially having to battle against yet another wide player for a starting spot in Bielsa’s eleven.
At just 20, the starlet has got plenty of time to really make his mark at the club, and there’s absolutely no questioning the kind of natural talent that he has.
Described as someone who can create “moments of magic”, Poveda’s rapid decision-making has been widely praised, and his speed and low centre of gravity marks him out as someone who could develop into one of the Premier League’s most dangerous wingers.
But before that, his short-term development must take priority, and with him hardly featuring in the top-flight on a regular basis – he hasn’t even come off the bench in the last three games – it’s surely time for Bielsa to make a ruthless call.
The January transfer window is just right around the corner, and there’s a real opportunity for Leeds to let him go out on loan and get some much-needed first-team football week-in and week-out.
At Elland Road, with the stakes so high, it’s unlikely he’s going to get a run of consistent games under his belt, and Bielsa would do well for the youngster’s long-term career by making a major decision right now.