This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
The January transfer window is just around the corner, and it looks as though Liverpool could be busy as they look to consolidate their place at the top of the Premier League table.
The Daily Star is reporting that the Reds are interested in signing Wigan Athletic’s Joe Gelhardt, with Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea amongst those clubs said to also be pursuing the youngster, who is believed to be valued at £5m by his club.
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The England U18 international has done well for the Latics this year during the short amount of time he has spent on the pitch, scoring once in six substitute appearances. On the international stage, he has also impressed, scoring 11 goals in 24 caps for the Three Lions’ various youth sides.
However, he is vastly inexperienced and, at the age of just 17 – he does not turn 18 until May next year – it is surely far too soon for him to make the move to Anfield and Liverpool, one of the biggest teams not only in England but Europe as a whole.
Not only that, but staying at Wigan could be the perfect place for him to develop, just as it was for Chelsea’s Reece James.
The 19-year-old right-back had failed to make a single appearance in professional football before moving to the DW Stadium, but he ended up playing 46 matches for the north-west team last term. Not only that, he was voted the club’s Player of the Year. His time there appears to be paying dividends this time out, with the teenager already appearing nine times for Frank Lampard’s side.
Liverpool will still be waiting for Gelhardt if he continues to impress, but that huge step up in quality may be too much for him at this stage of his career. In the Championship, he will be shielded from the intense scrutiny of the highest level, and could turn into the player this interest indicates he will be. Without even one start to his name, his advisors will hopefully help him make the right decision.