Leeds United are about to embark on their first Premier League campaign in over 16 years soon but as Fulham and more recently, Norwich City have shown, it’s by no means an easy task to remain.
There’s no real method to success – Sheffield United have shown a measured but shrewd approach, but you’d imagine a lot of it comes down to Chris Wilder whilst Aston Villa’s free-spending summer almost cost them, though ultimately they’re still in the top-flight.
Whether the Yorkshire giants spend huge or merely pick up a few signings remains to be seen. However, it can’t hurt to look from within, especially given the young talents Marcelo Bielsa has at his disposal.
In January, the title winners made an exciting move for Manchester City starlet Ian Poveda, a player who Pep Guardiola lauded for having “incredible power” to develop before doffing his cap to his old mentor.
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The two-time Premier League champion believes Bielsa’s system is even a perfect fit for the 20-year-old, so it is perhaps a surprise to have barely seen him feature since January.
It took until June for him to make his debut from the bench against Cardiff City before making his full maiden bow two games from the season’s climax at Derby County.
Poveda has shown encouraging signs during his four appearances and he must be unleashed on the top-flight next season.
In the final two matches of the campaign, the Englishman recorded one assist, two shots, three key passes and three successful dribbles, via WhoScored.
The 5 foot 5 winger has been described by Goal as “a very good dribbler, capable of playing on both flanks” and despite having a small frame can shield the ball cleverly by using his body.
Whilst former Whites forward Noel Whelan believes Poveda “looked sharp, [has] quick feet, [is] confident on the ball, [has] great technique and a lot of pace.”
The young sensation is also able to play through the middle, which poses an interesting question – do Leeds really need to target QPR’s Eberechi Eze?
Valued at £20m, United could spend these funds elsewhere such as in central defence where there is only skipper Liam Cooper currently.
Forget that, Bielsa has a player ready to tear the Premier League apart already at his disposal.
AND in other news, Marcelo Bielsa must buck his trend to sign Champions League star…