Michael Appleton has claimed that Ian Poveda probably produced his best performance at the weekend since leaving Leeds United on loan, and insisted that the Blackpool winger is a Premier League-quality player – in comments reported by the Daily Mail.
Poveda has become something of a forgotten man at Elland Road. It feels some time ago that he was getting game-time in the top-flight as someone who could make things happen for Leeds.
An awful injury prevented him from making a real impact out on loan last season. And with that, some fans will have their doubts over whether the 22-year-old will be able to force his way into the Leeds fold again.
Appleton lauds Poveda after Blackpool win
He joined Blackpool in the summer. And he is yet to take the Championship by storm. He has provided one assist and is yet to score in the league for the Tangerines. However, he reminded everyone of what he can do on Saturday.
Poveda scored one and set up another as Blackpool demolished Premier League Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. Steven Warnock suggested that he was outstanding in his analysis.
And Appleton has claimed that Poveda showed his credentials as a top-flight player in the victory.
“It was definitely one of his best performances for us and the goal probably nudges it as the very best,” he said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “Since the break the penny has dropped a little bit. His work-rate is incredible for a lad in his position.
“He still has a lot of learning left in him. There is nothing I can teach him in his ability to go past people. That’s just natural. What I can do is help him out of possession, get in good areas to help his team-mates out and hurt the opposition.
“He is a Premier League player, he’s just got to believe it. In terms of his passing, crossing and shooting, that’s pure ability. He’s beginning to understand that the game is not just about when the ball is at his feet.”
Leeds future may not be out of the question just yet
Poveda can take encouragement from what is going on at Leeds right now. Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville have been two of our best players this season.
They are both tricky, technically-gifted wingers who can cause opponents all kinds of problems.
Poveda obviously has the talent to do similar. Admittedly, it is potentially going to take something special for the former Manchester City man to force his way into the fold at Leeds again.
But he can surely look at the likes of Gnonto and Summerville and see that there is a pathway for him – if he now kicks on from his best performances yet.