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Bielsa’s substitutions in Leeds loss highlight his faith in Ian Poveda

(Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Leeds United

Bielsa’s substitutions in Leeds loss highlight his faith in Ian Poveda

When Leeds United’s lineup for their clash with Wolves on Monday was announced, supporters would have been forgiven for feeling incredibly excited – particularly because of the quality the Whites had on the bench.

The Elland Road clash was their first since Raphinha joined the club. Meanwhile, Pablo Hernandez was back involved after recovering from injury.

Ultimately, it was not Leeds’s night. Wolves scored a deflected goal with 20 minutes remaining that proved to be the difference.

Leeds United v Hull City - Carabao Cup Second Round

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But the game did see Marcelo Bielsa arguably make a significant statement concerning the potential he sees in one youngster.

That is because, rather than turn to Hernandez or Raphinha when Leeds went 1-0 down, the first player he brought on was Ian Poveda.

Leeds United v Manchester City - Premier League

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Poveda’s introduction an exciting statement

The 20-year-old has impressed in the early stages of the campaign. He had come on in Leeds’s previous two games, and produced a superb cameo against Manchester City.


Nevertheless, it may have come as a surprise to some that it was Poveda who came on first on Monday. Hernandez was introduced four minutes later, while Raphinha was brought on shortly after that.

Of course, Hernandez coming back from injury and Raphinha making his debut may have influenced the order in which Bielsa made his substitutions.

But Poveda can surely still take a lot of confidence from the fact that when it became apparent that Leeds were suddenly looking for an equaliser, he got the first nod from Bielsa.

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