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Leeds: Jesse Marsch must unleash Joe Gelhardt vs Palace

Leeds United once again failed to turn in a swashbuckling performance such as those witnessed earlier this season against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, with Jesse Marsch’s side ultimately having to settle for a point in a largely drab goalless draw at Elland Road.

Indeed, with the Whites currently on a four-game winless run – including a 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, a 1-1 draw with Everton, a 5-2 defeat at Brentford and Sunday’s stalemate with Villa – August’s high-octane 3-0 win over Chelsea now feels as if it were a lifetime ago.

However, with Leeds’ U21 side securing their sixth win from seven games in 2022/23 on Tuesday evening – a particularly enthralling 5-3 Papa John’s Trophy victory over Tranmere Rovers – perhaps it may be wise for Marsch to take a closer look at some of his up and coming starlets in a bid to inject some fresh impetus to his senior side.

Although, with Joe Gelhardt – the 20-year-old who the American left out of his 20-man squad to face Villa last weekend – being the two-goal hero for Michael Skubala’s side in midweek, the 48-year-old could well be left somewhat red-faced by crawling back to the youngster he spurned just a matter of days ago.

Indeed, if the £8.7m-rated talent hoped to send his manager a message at Prenton Park, he certainly did so, scoring two exceptionally well-taken goals, making two key passes, taking four shots at the Tranmere goal and drawing four fouls – with these returns seeing the England U21 earn a match-best SofaScore rating of 8.4.

The Yorkshire Evening Post journalist, Joe Donnohue, also awarded the striker a match-topping nine in his own player ratings, as well as stating of Gelhardt’s display: “Two very well-taken goals – power and placement. Worked hard off the ball from start to finish. Like [Wilfried] Gnonto, uses his body so well to his advantage.”

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As such, with a testing trip to Crystal Palace up next for the Whites, it would appear an extremely wise move for Marsch to reverse his Villa decision on the £16.5k-per-week Gelhardt, as the player who Leeds Live’s Beren Cross claimed is “going to change games” could very much prove to do exactly this at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Article title: Leeds: Jesse Marsch must unleash Joe Gelhardt vs Palace

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