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Leeds: Jesse Marsch must place his trust in Joe Gelhardt

Leeds United just about kept their Premier League survival hopes alive on Sunday, with Pascal Struijk’s 92nd-minute header seeing the Whites take a point from their meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion – a result that moved Jesse Marsch’s side out of the relegation zone with just one fixture left to play in 2021/22.

However, with both 18th placed Burnley and 16th placed Everton boasting a game in hand over the Whites, Leeds’ chance of securing survival is not in their own hands just yet, although an Aston Villa victory against the Clarets this Thursday will present Marsch’s men the opportunity to seal their own fate on the final day.

And, if the Whites do end up finding themselves in a position where a final day victory would secure their Premier League status for a further year, and Patrick Bamford remains unavailable for selection – something that Phil Hay suggested could be a possibility – against Brentford, it would appear a must for the 48-year-old manager to place his trust in Joe Gelhardt to lead the Leeds line at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Indeed, the 20-year-old centre-forward has so often been the player to salvage something for the Whites over the course of the current campaign, winning a last-gasp penalty after a driving run into the box in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers back in October, scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Norwich City despite spending just a minute on the pitch back in March and, most recently, providing the assist for Struijk to head home in the dying moments of the 1-1 draw on Sunday.

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However, the England U21 international’s involvement in last weekend’s equaliser was far from a regular assist, with the £4.5m-rated forward bringing the ball down under pressure in the Brighton box, sitting Lewis Dunk down with a dummy and deftly chipping the ball over the 6 foot 4 centre-back, before lofting a cross to the back post where an unmarked Struijk could hardly miss the target.

This passage of play saw the £16.5k-per-week talent come in for praise of the highest order, with Paul Merson stating on Sky Sports News: “Gelhardt has done a bit of skill, if Messi would have done it you’d be going mad. Unbelievable by the kid under pressure. Look at that, that is an unbelievable bit of play.”

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He is currently the club-record signing...

As such, with Leeds looking as if they will need to pull something incredibly special out of the bag on Sunday to give themselves any chance of beating the drop, should Bamford once again miss out, Marsch simply must keep the faith in his 20-year-old attacking sensation, as it is abundantly clear that the youngster has the ability to provide the Whites with a moment of magic that may just be enough to keep them in the top flight.

AND in other news: Orta must brutally axe “anonymous” £58k-p/w Leeds dud, he’s been “hiding” under Marsch

Article title: Leeds: Jesse Marsch must place his trust in Joe Gelhardt

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