Leeds United are finally back in Premier League action this evening as they head south to the Midlands to face Aston Villa.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side haven’t played in over two-and-a-half weeks now when they were defeated by lowly Newcastle United, so the Argentine will be expecting to see a reaction tonight.
Having struggled to find the net in that game – something that has been a regular problem in the absence of the injured Patrick Bamford – Bielsa could help himself by selecting Joe Gelhardt in his starting XI.
It’s evident that the Daniel James experiment upfront isn’t and will never work. He’s just too small and weak to have much of an influence up against Premier League defences, that much is evident by the fact that he’s scored zero goals in the role this term.
Gelhardt may only be 19 but he has already displayed his impressive attributes at the senior level. He’s capable of making dangerous runs in behind the defence, something that saw him earn his first professional goal in the defeat to Chelsea.
Scoring at Stamford Bridge is no mean feat, that’s for sure.
Gelhardt is already becoming a huge favourite amongst the fanbase, dressing room and within the coaching staff, according to The Athletic, who also claim that ‘the electricity he creates when he touches the ball has been matched by his impact.’
The teenage sensation has earned comparisons to Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney in terms of playing style by his attacking teammate Bamford. “He is the same kind of build as Rooney was. A stocky lad, great finisher,” he said (via the Yorkshire Evening Post).
Even Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has been hugely impressed in what limited game time the former Wigan graduate has had at Elland Road.
He claimed: “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.”
Also dubbed a “massive talent“, it’s evident that the youngster has the required skills and mindset to thrive at the very top. Leeds are still without Bamford, so it should be a no-brainer to start him, especially as he’s fit and available.
It could be a game-changing call from the Argentine.
AND in other news, Leeds United expect transfer interest in key trio this summer…