Leeds did a great deal in the summer transfer window but aside from welcoming club-record signing Rodrigo to the club, they did some fascinating business in improving the academy.
Sam Greenwood arrived from Arsenal while impressive young talents Crysencio Summerville and Cody Drameh also walked through the door.
Yet, their most eye-catching acquisition from an academy point of view was former Wigan youngster Joe Gelhardt.
The striker has already played over 20 games at senior level and is a budding prodigy who could well take on the mantle from Patrick Bamford in a few years.
You only need to look at one specific goal he scored for Wigan. The teenager turned his man close to the edge of the area with unrelenting confidence before sticking the ball in the back of the net.
Wigan’s little 💎
— Quest (@QuestTV) September 14, 2019
Judging by the 18-year-old’s reputation, he is probably one of the first names in the academy who will be given a senior-team opportunity.
Yet, a player two years his junior should also be considered as an option for Bielsa going forward. Just a month shy of his 17th birthday, Max Dean has been a brilliant capture since signing from Everton.
Bizarrely, that’s a higher tally than any Leeds player managed when they played fellow League Two opposition Crawley in the FA Cup.
That speaks volumes about what he can do against senior professionals and considering he’s just 16, it’s incredible that he’s already pulling up so many trees.
Dean epitomises the classic poacher, scoring from a matter of yards out against both Crystal Palace U23s and Reading U23s. He is always in the right area, picking up pockets of space that terrify defenders. For such a young player, his movement inside the box is enthralling.
👌 Right place, right time! Max Dean! pic.twitter.com/3D9XRTQU1Z
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 1, 2020
Gelhardt might be the more senior player at the moment but it’s arguably Dean who has caught the eye the most in Leeds’ development squads this term.
The 16-year-old is prolific and even finished as Everton’s top goal scorer for his age group in the 2018/19 season. He knows where the net is and that quality cannot be underestimated. After all, Leeds have failed to score in 2021.
Throwing in a player of his age at Premier League level would be foolish but it shouldn’t be too long before Marcelo Bielsa considers handing the teenager his first-team debut. He deserves an outing just as much as Greenwood and Gelhardt do.
After all, Dean has already proven what he can do when unleashed against Football League opposition. He could be a real wildcard for the Leeds boss.