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Leeds: Victor Orta struck gold on Joe Gelhardt

Leeds United have recruited extremely smartly in recent years, with the likes of Raphinha having joined for just £17m only to sell him for £55m just two years later.

Whilst this was the higher profile of their signings, under the radar they have been working on shaping the youth too.

Profiting on Wigan Athletic’s financial troubles, Victor Orta swooped in to sign Joe Gelhardt for around £1m.

The forward had impressed as part of a stellar Latics youth system and has since shone for Leeds’ U21s too.

With 20 goals and six assists in 30 games, he has more than earned his 32 appearances in the first team, despite plenty being short cameos from the bench.

His exploits led journalist Phil Hay to dub him a “goal machine” as he began his ascendancy into the senior squad.

Should Leeds be starting Gelhardt?

Yes

Yes

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He was instrumental in their survival bid last season, stepping up in the absence of Patrick Bamford to score a late winner at Norwich City as well as assist some crucial goals.

It is likely this impressive end to the season is imperative in overseeing his value skyrocket.

In July 2021, Transfermarkt valued him at just £1.17m. Following his most recent campaign, he is now valued at £7.2m, marking a sensational 515% increase in just one year.

MM graphic for Joe Gelhardt

This will be no great surprise to fans who have followed his career, as there is a belief that he is destined to reach the very top of the professional game.

Jesse Marsch has been vocal in his praise for the 20-year-old, once claiming that he would prefer to fit both him and Bamford into a system than pit them against each other.

He said: “One of his strengths is his cleverness and the flexibility to move within both positions, so in that sense, if you play with two strikers and Patrick [Bamford] drifts more on the last line and [Gelhardt] drifts a little more underneath but is ready for some later runs, then we can create some tactical clarity and ease for them to play together.”

The American’s desperation to get him in the side is indicative of how far he has risen, and the sky truly is the limit for this young marksman.

Article title: Leeds: Victor Orta struck gold on Joe Gelhardt

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