'The only solution' - Daniel Farke explains why he granted special leave to Leeds United winger

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Giving Ian Poveda permission to join up with the Colombia national team was the ‘only option’ in the eyes of Leeds United boss Daniel Farke.

Poveda was called up to a 20-man Colombia squad for friendlies against Venezuela and Mexico in the United States over the next couple of weeks and joined his national team earlier this week. The 23-year-old, who is set to miss fixtures against Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Coventry City, arrived in Bogota on Monday in preparation for for the friendly fixtures. The games on December 10 and 16 do not fall within a FIFA designated international window, so Leeds were under no obligation to release their first team squad member.

Farke has used Poveda on six occasions in the Championship this season, five of which have been substitute cameos, and he's yet to claim a first Leeds United goal in his 139 minutes of league action. Poveda caught the eye in pre-season with a goalscoring impact in the friendly against Nottingham Forest but has struggled for game time since, but Farke admits he would still rather have kept the youngster around for the upcoming games. That said, granting leave was the right thing to do according to the manager.

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Farke said: "Obviously you always want to have all your players available for each and every game, but also on the other hand we always allow a player if he's called up to go to his national team. This was a special one, not in a normal call up period, but a great honour for each and every player to represent his home country. It's the first time he's called up and we got the feeling he's desperate to go, with his family roots, a big chance to shine for his motherland and for that we decided to allow him. We would have preferred to have him for the next days, he'll return for the 18th, at least that's the plan at the minute.”

The Leeds boss hopes Poveda’s international involvement will benefit the player and his club, but the Whites do retain the option to recall the attacker if the injury situation changes at Thorp Arch. Farke said: “We also thought it could be a big boost for his mood and confidence if he comes back after a big reception on individual terms and we could get the benefit for ourselves when he comes back full of confidence with a big mood. Imagine what would have happened if we hadn't have allowed it. The sign it would send to him about us not caring about his wishes and his individual career, and the sign it would send to all the other players that we're selfish and only care about ourselves. It was the only solution and a big chance he comes back in a big mood and grateful. In case something strange happens with injuries we still have the chance to call him back.”

This is former England youth international Poveda’s first call up for Colombia, for whom he qualifies through his father Omar. Poveda represented the country of his birth at every level from Under 16 to Under 20, wearing the colours of England 31 times.