MOT View: Poveda mystery deepens after BBC journalist claims Leeds 19y/o sick
What’s happened to new Leeds United signing Ian Poveda?
The former Man City winger looked set to hit the ground running after Marcelo Bielsa thought he was fit to make the bench at the end of January for the game against Millwall shortly after he signed.
The 20-year-old attacker was also on the bench for the Wigan game but since then he’s been dropped from the squad entirely.
Bielsa is normally forthcoming about situations like this – when asked about fellow January signing Jean-Kevin Augustin he simply said the striker was not fit enough.
However, when it comes to Poveda Bielsa has been uncharacteristically vague.
The closest we came to getting an answer was when asked about Poveda in a press conference, Bielsa simply said that he wanted two attackers, midfielders and defenders on his bench.
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That put 19-year-old Jordan Stevens ahead of Poveda in the pecking order, which was odd in itself but fair enough.
However, Stevens missed the Huddersfield game and Poveda was still left out of the squad.
BBC journalist Adam Pope said that Stevens missed the game through illness and that left Bielsa with three defenders (Barry Douglas, Oliver Casey and Pascal Struijk, four if you count Gjanni Alioski) on his bench, with just Tyler Roberts as an attacking option.
Stevens ill this week so missed out. Casey is considered as a midfielder as well as a defender. #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) March 7, 2020
It seems odd given what Bielsa has said that Poveda wasn’t even considered worth having on the bench as another attacking option.
If it is a fitness issue then he hasn’t been helped by a number of Under-23s games being postponed because of the weather.
However, if it was just a fitness issue we’d expect Bielsa to say that and not keep skirting around the issue.
It’s a mystery that’s deepening and one that Bielsa doesn’t seem minded to clear up at the moment.
In other Leeds United news, EFL to meet today for talks that could have huge impact on Leeds promotion run-in