Despite seeing Patrick Bamford lead the line superbly for Leeds United, there’s no questioning that Marcelo Bielsa’s side could do with some added competition up front.
Bamford leads the scoring charts for the Whites this season in the Premier League with 13 to his name, but there’s a real lack of options to challenge him for his starting spot – summer signing Rodrigo had been playing in a more withdrawn role before his injury.
However, in 18-year-old academy talent Joe Gelhardt, Leeds appear to have the kind of prospect who could really make his mark on their first team setup sooner rather than later.
Football Insider claimed that Gelhardt is seen as “electrifying” and “phenomenal” behind the scenes, while Leeds’ current main man up top Bamford has similarly waxed lyrical about the centre-forward.
He said: “He reminds me – I don’t want to say the same level as (Wayne) Rooney – but he is the same kind of build as Rooney was. A stocky lad, great finisher.
Bielsa himself is a big fan of the teenager, only recently remarking about his abilities.
Speaking last month, the Leeds boss said: “He’s a player that always creates danger in a game. He’s a player who’s more linked with the finalising of chances rather than the creation of them. He has resources to beat an opponent and he has a final shot, a finish that is very good.”
While the 18-year-old shouldn’t be thrown into the deep end of starting Premier League games week-in and week-out, Bielsa should now consider unleashing him in the top flight with some game-time here and there.
Gelhardt can only prove so much playing for the under-23s, and the comments and praise he has received from inside the club shows the kind of talent he possesses. Now it’s up to Bielsa to get the best out of him for the first team.