Marcelo Bielsa wants to see Tyler Roberts and Ian Poveda have a bigger impact when Leeds United attack, but praised the young couple.
Roberts and Poveda are two of the youngest members of the Bielsa team. The Welsh international had a fair share of opportunities as the younger Poveda had to be more patient. But both have shown signs of promise for the future.
Even so, they weren’t always the first names on Bielsa’s squad sheets. But Roberts has had a streak of games recently and his manager insists he deserves his place.
Bielsa said: “He has played many games in a row and he has shown that he has the resources to justify his place in the team. He has virtues that are very difficult to find in football at the moment.
“He has all the resources to imbalance and clearly he still has a long way to go to make these attempts useful and effective.
“He has many virtues and he must have an impact on Leeds’ attacking play in accordance with his virtues.”
Poveda, meanwhile, played for the first time since January when Leeds drew with Liverpool on Monday. All of his Premier League appearances this season have been off the bench and the last one lasted 23 minutes.
Some believe the winger has shown enough in this cameo to warrant new opportunities.. Bielsa thinks Poveda was somewhat unlucky not to play more, but like Roberts, wants to see bigger contributions from him in the final third.
Bielsa said: “He didn’t have the chance at Tyler where he got to play many games.
“For a player to play, he must show that he is in better conditions to play than the player who currently occupies the position. Or that there are spaces in the team, for reasons that are not related to performance.
“In this sense, Poveda did not have many opportunities, because Raphinha and [Jack] Harrison played more. And when one of those two was absent, Helder Costa played.
“But he’s a player with a great ability to unbalance. He is a player who has dribbling skills that are difficult to decipher.
“But like I said about Tyler, he has to turn those attempts into something that will impact the game. And there is also a question that you have to be able to play to draw conclusions in that direction and he has. had very few minutes to show these conditions, not because he didn’t deserve them but because I made decisions that put him behind. Raphinha and Harrison.
“But in a way he deserves more minutes because of the quality he has.”
Subscribe for free to the daily TEAMtalk newsletter …
Bielsa describes Gelhardt attributes
An even younger prospect who knocked on the first team’s door recently was Joe Gelhardt.
Following his arrival from Wigan this summer, the forward is yet to make his Premier League debut for Leeds. But he’s been an unused substitute on several occasions recently as he moved closer to the first team.
Asked about Gelhardt’s place when he’s ready, Bielsa said: “His natural position is that of a center-forward.
“He’s a player who has a great ability to finish shots. And he is a player who has dribbling skills in the last third and just before the movement is finalized.
READ MORE: Bielsa confirms Raphinha’s decision for Man Utd; plan for revenge on Leeds