There was a time when Leeds United supporters spitefully shook their heads as the club’s recruitment team neglected important areas of the team in the transfer window.
That had never been truer than when someone like Pascal Struijk joined the Whites.
The Dutch defender didn’t receive a particularly warm welcome but he serves as a fine example for needing to be patient.
He has been crucial this season and in a campaign where the likes of Robin Koch and Liam Cooper have been injured, the emergence of the colossal Struijk has been timely.
But it’s at the other end of the pitch that we want to focus on for the time being where another timely breakthrough act has been discovered.
That falls in the form of Joe Gelhardt, a teenager who is very quickly becoming an important figure at Elland Road.
Star striker Patrick Bamford has featured only once since a bad ankle injury back in September as the previously irremovable object from Bielsa’s side was finally dethroned.
Dan James, Rodrigo, Tyler Roberts and Gelhardt have all been utilised at the top of the pitch in Bamford’s absence but of all of them, it’s the lad the Elland Road faithful know as ‘Joffy’ who has caught the eye the most.
Signed for just over £1m in August 2020, his value and estimations are growing rapidly.
It’s clear to see why, too. He already has 25 career goals across senior and youth level and has taken to Bielsa’s methods like a duck to water, winning a crucial penalty against Wolves and scoring against Chelsea in his limited opportunities this season.
His performances have subsequently earned rave reviews with Leeds Live reporter Bergen Cross who hailed the masterclass done in the transfer window by Victor Orta and co.
He said: “Gelhardt may well be the best bit of business the club has done in the last 20 years, if not ever, because he just looks absolutely outrageous, very, very good player.”
The youngster has been so impressive that he was described as a “human wrecking ball” by Bielsa.
The boss added: “I like him, he’s really exciting. He’s fast, he’s aggressive, he gets on the ball, he takes people on. Once he gets into the box, he loves it. That’s where he can do most of his damage.”
It’s clear that Gelhardt has a quite remarkable amount of potential and for that alone, it is a dream deal.
Combine Bielsa’s affection for the player with his growing importance and it’s hard to disagree with Cross’ bold statement.
He’s certainly someone that can loosen the burden on Bamford’s shoulders in the coming years.