Date: 27th January 2020 at 5:00pm
Written by: Zak Roome

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola expects Ian Poveda to thrive following his move to Leeds United, as he will be working under one of the best coaches at Elland Road in Marcelo Bielsa.

Guardiola offered a glowing appraisal of Bielsa when asked by Sporting Life for his thoughts on Poveda’s move to West Yorkshire, after the youngster sealed a permanent move away from the Sky Blues at the end of last week.

Poveda joined United on a four-and-a-half-year deal and for an undisclosed fee, having played just one senior match for the Citizens during a two-year spell in their youth ranks.

The 19-year-old had previously featured for Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona’s academies, and was linked with a January move to Italian Serie A outfit Torino before joining Leeds last Friday.

Guardiola now expects Poveda to truly kick on with his professional career, as moving to Elland Road will see the club’s intended Jack Clarke replacement develop under a top-class head coach in Bielsa.

Guardiola said: “He is young, he has to play, he was not able [to with City] and I think Leeds United is an incredible challenge to be training for one of the best or maybe the best managers in the world, in terms of how he helps the players to be better players.

“He has an incredible power to develop. For the way Leeds play suits perfect for his qualities.”

Will Poveda influence our promotion challenge?





Guardiola’s praise for Bielsa is high, indeed, as the Spaniard is one of the top head coaches in not only the Premier League but Europe, having won the World’s Best Manager award twice, along with two Champions League trophies and league honours in Spain, Germany and England.

Hopefully what Guardiola says about Poveda developing under Bielsa will come true, too, as there will be a lot of pressure on the teenager to offer something amid our promotion-chasing season, given the club’s expectation that he will take over the role previously tasked to Clarke.

Tottenham’s Clarke failed to offer much during his half-season back in West Yorkshire on loan, with just one Championship outing to his name – and Poveda will simply have to feature more often than that.

In other Leeds United news, a prominent pundit has urged Bielsa to axe a first-team mainstay to avoid the £10m man growing complacent.

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