Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills has admitted that he is confused by Ian Poveda’s lack of playing time for the Whites so far this season.
The Lowdown: A tough season for Poveda
Marcelo Bielsa’s side won 3-1 at home to Tottenham on Saturday afternoon as they took yet more points of a ‘big six’ Premier League team. It was another impressive top-flight performance by Leeds, but someone who played no part in proceedings was Poveda.
The Latest: Mills confused by lack of playing time
Speaking to Football Insider, Mills struggled to put his finger on why Poveda has featured so little, suggesting that he may not be impressing Bielsa on the training ground. The former Whites defender said:
“It’s a strange one. Bielsa bought him and not really used him in any way, shape or form and he’s been fit.
“You start to think ‘What’s the reason? What are you not seeing in training? What’s he not doing that Bielsa wants him to do?’
“Bielsa clearly likes him because he bought him and you’ve got to be a certain type of player for Bielsa to like you in the first place.
“It’s a strange one. Is it a young player who thought it was going to be a lot easier than it is? Has he not pushed on as hard as he needed to to get into the first team.”
The Verdict: Patience required
While it has been frustrating not to see Poveda shine this season, it is easy to forget that he is still only 21 and very much learning his trade.
The youngster may have to accept that he is only going to have a squad role at Leeds for the time being, but he seems to have the potential to become a regular in Bielsa’s first team, with some supporters hailing his performance at home to Manchester City earlier in the season.
It would be a knee-jerk reaction to write Poveda off at this early stage in his career, with patience required both from the player and from Whites supporters.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly confident of sealing the signing of one player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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