Helder Costa’s loss could be Ian Poveda’s gain as Leeds United look to make it seven Premier League games unbeaten when they clash Brighton on Saturday.
Last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United was the latest impressive display in a six-game spell that has seen us take points from the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
But one negative to come out of that Elland Road encounter on Sunday was an injury to Helder Costa, who was substituted in the second half after failing to recover from a heavy challenge from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Marcelo Bielsa has remained coy as to whether the winger would be fit for the trip to face Graham Potter’s relegation-threatened side, but LUTV looks to have offered a big clue as to his chances of making it.
Costa wasn’t seen in the training video as the first team were filmed preparing for Saturday’s game.
If Costa is indeed ruled out of the AMEX Stadium clash then it is all set up for 21-year-old Poveda to make his full Premier League debut.
The ex-Manchester City academy star has featured 12 times for the Whites in the Premier League this season, but all outings have come from the bench with a combined minutes tally of just 291. [WhoScored]
Two of those games have come in the last couple of weeks, with his livewire display against Liverpool on April 19 his first since the reverse fixture with Brighton on January 16 when the Whites lost 1-0 at Elland Road.
Poveda has suffered with injury and fell out of favour with Raphinha, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa firmly established in the pecking order ahead of him on the wing.
But with Raphinha and Costa set to be ruled out of Saturday’s clash he must be at the forefront of Bielsa’s thinking now.
El Loco could go a few ways about replacing Costa, with Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski capable of lining up on the wing, while Under-23s sensation Crysencio Summerville was on the bench last weekend and would be an exciting inclusion.
But Poveda seems the most like-for-like replacement and it will be a huge opportunity for him to stake his first-team place and send a strong message ahead of next season.
He will surely be looking for more regular action next term and that’s likely to be away from Elland Road, unless he can prove his worth to Bielsa at Brighton and in the concluding weeks of the current campaign.
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