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Ian Poveda could be Leeds’ wildcard if Ryan Fraser moves elsewhere

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Leeds United

Ian Poveda could be Leeds’ wildcard if Ryan Fraser moves elsewhere

After announcing the returns of Jack Harrison and Illan Meslier and the arrival of a number of young players, Leeds may now switch their attention to bolstering their first-team squad ahead of their return to the Premier League.

The Whites have been linked with a host of players since the transfer window opened. And one of the latest is former Bournemouth man Ryan Fraser.

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90 Min has reported this week that Leeds are one of a number of Premier League clubs keen on signing the Scotland international.

It does appear however, Leeds could be facing an uphill battle trying to sign the wide-man. The Sun reported this month that the winger turned down a £67,000-a-week deal at the Vitality Stadium and left hoping to earn around £100,000-a-week at his next club.

It is therefore, difficult to see Leeds making the kind of offer that tempts Fraser into an Elland Road switch. It would be wrong to right the Whites off as well. But perhaps there will be plenty of supporters not holding their breath.

What missing out on Fraser may do is leave the door open for a member of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad. And the player who looks to have the most potential to step up is perhaps Ian Poveda.

AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa - Premier League

(Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Leeds fans did not see too much of Poveda following his January arrival. He finished the season with just one league start under his belt.

But the early signs suggest that the 20-year-old could prove an inspired addition to Bielsa’s squad.

Poveda could be Bielsa’s wildcard

Poveda looks to tick a lot of the same boxes as Fraser. He can be a nightmare for opposition full-backs as he looks completely comfortable on both feet.


The youngster is also brave on the ball. And his decision-making is already a strength. He is capable of dancing out of a crowded area utilising a piece of skill, but will switch the play with an ambitious pass if required.

Both of the goals Poveda had a direct hand in towards the end of last season also illustrated how he has brought into Bielsa’s philosophy.

On both occasions, Poveda was down the right flank before cutting the ball back for a teammate. The first came for Pablo Hernandez’s goal at Derby, while his one assist saw Jamie Shackleton set up on the final day.

Fraser is obviously the more established player. He boasts a lot of Premier League experience and was sensational during the 2018/19 campaign when he scored seven goals and provided 14 assists.

But he is not going to come cheap – even on a free transfer – and would be coming in off the back of a disappointing campaign.

Poveda meanwhile, is probably not going to be a regular starter next season.

But in the long-term, there seems to be little reason why Poveda cannot fill the void should Leeds miss out on Fraser this summer.

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