Having joined Leeds United in a £1m deal back in the summer of 2020, Joe Gelhardt has enjoyed something of a meteoric rise to Premier League football in the one and a half years since his Elland Road switch.
Indeed, after bagging 11 goals and registering three assists over his 16 Premier League 2 appearances last season, as well as notching seven goals and providing one assist over his nine outings in the same competition this term, the 19-year-old started to find himself involved in Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team back in October of last year.
Since then, the centre-forward has become something of a stalwart in Leeds’ matchday squads, scoring two goals and registering three assists over his 13 appearances in the Premier League, with Bielsa clearly holding the youngster in extremely high regard.
Speaking about Gelhardt back in November, the former Leeds boss said: “He’s like a human wrecking ball. 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.”
However, while the best is clearly still to come with a player so young, Jesse Marsch could already have the club’s next Gelhardt on his hands – in the form of Archie Gray.
Despite having turned just 16 years of age in March, the attacking midfielder is already a player who is generating an incredible deal of excitement around Thorp Arch.
Indeed, after highly impressing over his seven U18 Premier League appearances at the start of the season, the England U17 international was subsequently bumped up into Mark Jackson’s U23 side – for whom the youngster has now become a regular, featuring in ten Premier League 2 fixtures so far this term.
However, not only is Gray participating in the U23 side, he is thriving – something that was evident in the recent 3-0 victory over Manchester United U23s, a game in which the 16-year-old netted his side’s third with a spectacular long-range strike, as can be seen below:
🤯 “You beauty! Archie Gray take a bow!” pic.twitter.com/MOOdhg9VdU
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 15, 2022
Indeed, the teenager who Leeds Live’s Joe Donnohue joked “should be revising for his GCSEs” and Jamie Redknapp dubbed a “tremendous” talent would appear to have an extremely bright future in the game, perhaps even brighter than that of Gelhardt.