This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United ace Stuart Dallas has told the club’s pre-Millwall press conference that Ian Poveda who joined from Manchester City on a free transfer, has integrated instantly into the Leeds squad.
Dallas, 28, is one of a number of players to have significantly improved under Bielsa at Elland Road, spoke of how quickly winger Poveda has settled in at the club adding: “Fast. Direct, he’s fitted in really well. I haven’t seen a player take to a group like he has. He’s been here a few days but it’s like he’s been here all season.”
With this in mind, how exciting is the addition of Poveda to the Leeds United squad?
“This is as exciting a signing as Leeds have made in a while. Marcelo Bielsa has managed to bring in some high-profile players through his reputation, and Ian Poveda is another. I’m surprised Manchester City let him go that easily, but Leeds have found a player here.
“He’s spent time in the Arsenal, Chelsea, City and even in the Barcelona youth academy, as well as being a prolific and regular member of the England youth teams from U16 all the way up to U20. He’s something of an unknown quantity though, and his transfer comes with an element of risk.
“The fact that he’s a permanent signing though is a plus – if he came in on-loan and turned out to be the player that he promises to be, Leeds wouldn’t have a chance of signing him. But on a four-and-a-half year deal, he could become a Leeds legend.
“Whether he’ll be the man to fire Leeds into the Premier League is a different question though. No one man can do it, but he, along with the players they already have, and the newly arriving Jean-Kevin Augustin have put Leeds in pole position to lift the title, let alone get promoted – it’d be a crime if Leeds didn’t go up now.”
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“This January window has certainly provided Leeds fans with a lot of hope going into the business end of the season.
“Both Augustin and Poveda have all the potential to take the Championship by storm, although it is hard to guarantee anything with players of that age.
“How much we read into what Dallas has had to say about Poveda is also difficult to say as well.
“I mean, what are the chances that Dallas would have said he was really poor even if he had been? It is not that I doubt Dallas’ judgment, but I would avoid getting carried away if I was a Leeds fan.”
“This could prove to be an Orta masterstroke.
“The 19-year-old was one of the hottest prospects in the Manchester City set-up with Pep Guardiola among his biggest admirers.
“The fact that Ian Poveda wanted to get out and play regular first team football is testament to how much he wants to grow and improve, and playing under Marcelo Bielsa means that he’ll certainly be getting an education.
“Poveda has undoubted potential, and if the winger can even get close to what he’s capable of then Leeds will be laughing.
“Whether he’s ready to feature regularly for the first team remains to be seen, but we’ll certainly be seeing lots of the starlet in the weeks and months ahead.”