One of the more surprising selection decisions that Marcelo Bielsa has made in recent times has involved Leeds United’s January signing Ian Poveda.
Poveda went straight into the matchday squad after arriving from Manchester City. And he seemed to stake a claim for game-time with a bright under-23 display against Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the month.
However, the winger has not been involved in Leeds’s last three games.
Of course, it would be no surprise to see Poveda make a number of appearances before the campaign concludes. But Whites fans would be forgiven for being intrigued by his absence.
It may concern some to see Poveda out of the side for the time-being. But perhaps the supporters should instead look at Bielsa’s recent selections as a significant statement concerning Jordan Stevens’s potential.
The 19-year-old missed the clash with Bristol City at the weekend. But he was named in the squads for the games against Nottingham Forest and Brentford ahead of Poveda.
It does appear that Bielsa is a fan of the teenager. He was handed his senior debut last season. And he has made three league appearances during this campaign, including two in January.
Some may have expected Poveda to leap ahead of Stevens following his arrival. But the latter has been included more often since Poveda’s move.
Poveda’s time will almost definitely come. And in truth, it is probably not a huge surprise to see Bielsa ultimately bide his time with him – despite initially including him in the squad.
There is unlikely to be any reason to worry about Poveda based off Bielsa’s recent selections. But perhaps they do provide a reason to be more excited about what the Leeds boss may see in Stevens.