Ian Poveda's first Premier League start could be next with Leeds United options limited out wide
IAN Poveda's wait for a first Premier League start continues but the Leeds United winger might now find himself in from the outset as the season draws to a close.
Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa was without two of his leading wingers for Saturday's clash at the Amex as Helder Costa joined Raphinha on the sidelines with a back injury.
Poveda, though, still had to settle for a place on the bench as Bielsa opted to play Stuart Dallas on the right wing and start Mateusz Klich in centre midfield as Robin Koch replaced the injured Kalvin Phillips in the holding midfield role.
With Leeds 1-0 down at the break, Bielsa then turned to Poveda as his first change as the winger replaced left back Gjanni Alioski during the interval.
That meant Dallas switching to left back and Poveda handed a chance on the right wing.
The 21-year-old quickly brought his pace and energy to that side of the pitch but again struggled to find an end product which has often been lacking from his game.
Dribbling again proved a big asset to Poveda's game as three out of his four attempts were successful but Poveda was also dispossessed three times.
The winger was unable to get a shot at goal and his 45 minutes on the pitch resulted in 31 touches of the ball and 16 attempted passes, 14 of which were accurate for a decent passing success rate of 88 per cent, including one 'key pass'.
Ultimately, Poveda and Leeds were unable to make any breakthrough but the Whites arguably looked better with the former Manchester City youngster on the pitch, albeit he still needs to find an end product.
With four games of the season now remaining, for Poveda, much depends on the extent of Raphinha and Costa's injuries.
Raphinha is still absent with the thigh injury that he picked up after being clattered by Fernandinho in last month's 2-1 win at Manchester City whilst Costa was slammed to the floor by Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the goalless draw against Manchester United and not surprisingly hurt his back.
If the duo are still out then a first Premier League start for Poveda might be just around the corner if Dallas switches to left back from the start.
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Thank you Laura Collins