After firing Leeds’ U23s to the Premier League 2 Division 2 title last week, Joe Gelhardt must surely now be unleashed by Marcelo Bielsa.
The former Wigan starlet only arrived at Elland Road last summer but has since made a big impression behind the scenes at Thorp Arch, with The Athletic’s Phil Hay revealing that the club feel they pulled off an absolute steal.
He said: “He’s been hugely impressive in the (Under-23s). Every time I see him, he looks like a massively talented player. Leeds have been quite honest in saying that the money they paid for him, around about £700,000 up front, from what I was told, is a small fee for somebody with massive amounts of talent.”
And Leeds Live’s Beren Cross echoed those sentiments about how Leeds pulled off a masterclass in the summer by signing Gelhardt for so cheap.
He said: “I think it remains, It’s very opportunistic. I think as we saw with Gelhardt, I think that was very much, unfortunately for Wigan, a case of Wigan were in administration, and they had to take what they could get.
“And as I’m sure we’ll find out in the years ahead, Gelhardt may well be the best bit businesses the club has done in the last 20 years, if not ever, because he just looks absolutely outrageous, very, very good player.”
With 11 goals in just 16 games at Premier League 2 level, including a stunning hat-trick in a 5-0 win over West Brom just a couple of weeks ago, Gelhardt is more than knocking on the first-team door right now.
Bielsa has just Patrick Bamford as a recognised striker option to call upon, and with the English ace just beginning to feel the wear and tear of a long and hard season in recent weeks, it’s surely the perfect time for Gelhardt to be brought into the fold.
The 18-year-old has made it onto the bench for the last couple of Premier League games against Manchester City and Liverpool, but wasn’t brought on.
But, with Manchester United up next for Leeds, Gelhardt may have the perfect opportunity to shine.