Leeds United winger Ian Poveda claims manager Marcelo Bielsa is making him a “more complete” player.
Poveda joined Leeds from Manchester City in January 2020, playing a bit-part role in helping them gain promotion to the Premier League.
He has since earned his first taste of top flight football, coming on as a substitute in five league games so far. He also made one start in the EFL Cup.
At the age of 20, Poveda still has some way to go in his development before he can be guaranteed a regular first team role. However, he is making positive strides forward – and he thinks Bielsa has been key to that.
“I feel like he is making me like an all-round player,” Poveda told LUTV of his manager.
“He is opening my eyes as in, before I just wanted to receive the ball at my feet and just dribble, but now, I understand more of the game and I understand the style of the team.
“So, I know that if I make runs, my hands and my movements are really, really important because it not only helps me, but it helps a team-mate get on the ball.
“And I feel like, since I came here, I have become a much better player, more complete player.
“But I’ve still got a long long way to go.”
Phillips has taken Poveda under his wing
Another figure who has been vital to Poveda settling in at Elland Road is Kalvin Phillips.
The instrumental midfielder is one of Leeds’ most important players on the pitch, and it appears his role extends off the pitch as well.
Poveda revealed that he looks up to Phillips, four years his senior, as like a “big brother”.
“Me and Kalvin are close because since I came here, he has really taken me under his wing and I appreciate that,” Poveda said. “He is like my big brother.
“He helps me a lot even on the pitch, in training, so do other players as well.
“[Luke] Ayling, the captain [Liam Cooper], like everyone, everyone. We also pull each other [up] and there are no groups.
“So, we have a good good team, a strong team.”