Leeds are currently boasting some seriously exciting young players as more and more teenagers look to push their way up through the academy. But one man who might beat them to the punch is recent youth signing Joe Gelhardt, who joined from Wigan for a nominal fee this summer.
The 18-year-old impressed at his boyhood club and has taken to life at Leeds like a duck to water. So far this season he has tallied four goals and one assist in seven Premier League 2 appearances (via Transfermarkt).
Marcelo Bielsa must consider promoting the teen, who has already been named on the Argentinian’s roster this term. Leeds need to add more coal to their attacking fire, with only Patrick Bamford to rely on at the moment. Unleashing Gelhardt could be the fresh injection of energy they need to return to form.
The Whites’ No.9 is one of the most clinical and natural strikers in the Premier League this season. There’s no question over his ability to finish and bully the opposition’s defence. However, when starved of chances from his fellow attackers and the midfield, it’s a lot to ask of Bamford to carry the team on his own.
Bielsa has already made some cut throat decisions, including hauling off Jamie Shackleton at half-time after he fell short of the mark against Leicester in their 4-1 loss. He was then dropped completely from the squad as Leeds suffered yet another 4-1 defeat, this time at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Bielsa’s defence is something he should be focusing on, but his attack is equally in need of some TLC. Giving an exciting new signing the chance to shine at his new club could pay off in dividends as he is sure to grab the opportunity with both hands.
Phil Hay certainly backs Gelhardt – he waxed lyrical about the 18-year-old on a recent episode of The Phil Hay Show.
“He’s been hugely impressive in the [Under-23s],” The Athletic reporter said. “Every time I see him, he looks like a massively talented player.”
Such a promising young player could balance 27-year-old Bamford out perfectly in a new Leeds era.