This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Liverpool are reportedly battling with Merseyside rivals Everton to sign Wigan prospect Joe Gelhardt.
According to TEAMtalk, the 17 year-old forward has attracted interest from many top clubs with his showings so far this season.
He has already made four appearances for the senior side this campaign, scoring once despite being on the pitch for just 73 minutes in total.
The report claims the teenager will be left to decide between the red and blue half of Merseyside, with a vacancy opening up in Liverpool’s under-23 squad after the departure of Bobby Duncan.
Could there have been a more ridiculous way to leave a club than Duncan’s exit at the start of September?
Fiorentina’s gain was hardly Liverpool’s loss, as from the outside looking in it appeared to be nothing more than a young player throwing his toys out the pram because he wasn’t getting the money or first-team opportunities he thought he was worth.
Then you have Gelhardt, who for all intents and purposes seems to be the polar opposite of Duncan.
The teenager is paying his dues in the Championship, one of the most competitive and physically demanding leagues in the world, and Wigan manager Paul Cook’s comments about him after his first senior goal really say it all.
“He’s got that unique talent to find space in a telephone box,” he said. “He’s such a natural, good footballer. To get a goal like that in front of his own fans was a special moment.
“A lot of young footballers coming into the game are not very nice people. We’re just lucky to have a boy with his humility playing for us – the game is easy for him.
“He’ll be starting soon if he carries on like that. He’s a young boy that needs minding though. It’s a very special goal from a very special player.”
While only time will tell who is the superior talent, there is absolutely no doubt Liverpool would be receiving an upgrade in character by replacing Duncan with Gelhardt.