It’s well documented how much training under Marcelo Bielsa can progress a player’s physical fitness. Well it worked wonders on Jack Harrison, but now we’re seeing the results on another young winger – Ian Carlo Poveda.
When Jack Harrison first arrived from Manchester City, fresh off the back of loan spells at New York City and Middlesbrough, he was a slight promising figure playing out wide.
While he had the potential as a progressive player, his physical stature found him letting himself down on occasion. In that first summer of 2019, at the conclusion of his first season at Leeds, Harrison took the liberty of travelling back to New York and not for a break.
The then 22-year-old trained through the summer, and hard. Since he has become one of the top English wingers on the planet.
Over the course of next season, we could see Harrison being pressured by the results of the very same regime being utilised by Poveda, the 21-year-old waiting in the wings to pounce on a chance in the first team.
Already there are parallels between the two in that they have both arrived from the Manchester City academy, but now Poveda has followed it up by putting in the hard yards this summer.
On many an occasion, the former member of Barcelona’s La Masia academy has shown off his brutal workout schedule on his Instagram stories – and the results are showing.
Last season, Poveda only managed to feature 14 times in the league for the first team, totalling just over 300 minutes. Granted it would have been tough to knock either Raphinha or Harrison out of position.
However, now it’s looking more and more likely that Helder Costa is on his way out of Elland Road, young Ian could be the next beneficiary in the event of a falter in form in the first team.
In the last campaign, ‘Jackie Harrison’ – as he is now more affectionately known – finished only behind Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford for goal contributions (goals and assists) from English wingers in the Premier League.
If Poveda can add this level of end product to his already exciting playing style, he could develop into one of the top talents in the topflight. Potentially, despite his Colombian heritage, he could even go as far as following Kalvin Phillips into the England set-up.