BBC pundit claims Leeds 20-year-old 'will be a brilliant player' when the penny drops

Sam Preston December 3, 2020
BBC pundit claims Leeds 20-year-old 'will be a brilliant player' when the penny drops
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Winger Ian Poveda is yet to start a Premier League game for Leeds this season.

The 20-year-old has had to be content with cameos off the bench, making six appearances so far.

Former Leeds striker turned BBC pundit Jermaine Beckford has given his view on Poveda to the Doing A Leeds podcast.

He feels the penny is still to drop in terms of the former Manchester City man’s attitude to defending – but he will be brilliant once it does.

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“He’s got pace, trickery,” said Beckford. “The only issue with Poveda is his attitude to tracking back and defending.

“I think once he has nailed that, and realises it is team game and doing it for the greater good – he will be a brilliant player.

“Especially over the next two, three four years. He needs to get a bit stronger.”

Poveda is still just 20 and has plenty to learn about the game. Even if it takes the four years at the top end of Beckford’s prediction for the penny to drop, he’ll still have a huge career ahead of him at 24.

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Marcelo Bielsa is a sensational manager to learn from and that will give Poveda a great footballing education.

But the Argentine is also very particular about what he wants. If a player can deliver it, he’s in regardless of his age or status.

That Poveda is getting gametime under Bielsa is a good sign, but if his defensive work is found wanting at all, it will likely hold him back from regular starts.

Leeds have done a lot of work with their recruitment of young players in recent years, and Poveda is an example of that. As Beckford says, some patience may be required.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.