Leeds United youngster Ian Poveda has been speaking to the media ahead of the clash with Hull City in the League Cup.
Marcelo Bielsa’s and Grant McCann’s sides have had hugely contrasting fortunes since the January transfer window, with one sitting pretty in the Premier League and the other dropping into League One.
Selling Bowen and Grosicki spelled certain doom for the Tigers in January while it was a lack of business that could have been Leeds’ demise last season.
However, Leeds completed three deals, one first-team (Jean-Kevin Augustin), one youth (Elia Caprile), and one who is just about in the middle. That player on the fringes is the signing from Manchester City, youngster Ian Poveda.
Poveda moved to Elland Road from the Etihad for a fee that could rise to around £1m, despite there being no upfront fee paid by Leeds.
The winger has featured for a number of academies in his youth, such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Brentford before the Citizens.
However, the core of his development stems from City, and he made his senior debut for Pep Guardiola’s side during the two-leg mauling of Burton Albion back in 2019, featuring in the second-leg 1-0 win at the Pirelli.
The landscape of Poveda’s first-team prospects has changed dramatically since joining Leeds, seeing him have much more chance to push for a regular spot, but he still owes the City squad a lot of thanks for their guidance.
Speaking to the club’s official site, Poveda commented on his relationship with the City players around his debut. He stated: “To learn from the players in the squad [De Bruyne, Delph and Aguero], both in training and in the game, was great.
“They helped me a lot and I’ll always be grateful. When I first entered the pitch, I was just thinking, ‘Am I really here?’, but I think I did alright, it was a nice game.”
Poveda clearly showed a lot of promise during his youth to be scouted by a number of strong academies including Barcelona, and Guardiola also has seen his talent first-hand.
Chances have been scarce for him to flourish in the first-team but after lockdown in the Championship, he was great and demonstrated he has what it takes to become a first-team regular.
Cup games like these are the ones where he (and other youngsters) have to take the game by the scruff of the neck and prove to Bielsa what they can do, just as Pascal Struijk has done in his last three appearances.
Training with Man City’s first-team will have inherently bred a sense of maturity in Poveda, and his work so far under Bielsa is only proving it more.