Leeds United youngster Joe Gelhardt is in advanced talks over a big pay rise at Elland Road.
The Lowdown: Gelhardt’s breakthrough season
The 20-year-old made the leap from exciting youth team player to key squad figure last season, making his presence felt as the Whites secured their Premier League safety.
Gelhardt ended up chipping in with two goals and assists apiece in the league, one of which was an unforgettable stoppage-time assist for Pascal Struijk in the 1-1 draw at home to Brighton.
Huge things are expected of the young striker, who has been described as ‘unreal’ by Premier League pundit Alan Hutton, and the hope is of course that players of his ability want to stay at Elland Road long-term.
The Latest: Big new deal
Following reports last month from Graham Smyth that Gelhardt had entered talks with the club, Football Insider are now reporting that Gelhardt and Leeds are in ‘advanced talks’ over a new contract, with his current deal expiring in 2024.
FI say a ‘big pay rise’ is on the cards for the attacker, and club chiefs believe he will be a ‘huge’ player moving forward.
The Verdict: Huge indeed
Nailing down Gelhardt’s future is of the utmost importance given the club have already lost two fan favourites this summer, so this is a huge piece of news considering what a prodigiously gifted talent the Englishman is.
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The genius of his aforementioned assist summed up his natural ability and he is capable of producing moments of magic from nowhere – something that is priceless in a player as it cannot really be taught. Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta are spot on to believe in his huge potential.
At 20, Gelhardt is still maturing and some rawness should be expected in his game, but with Patrick Bamford injury-prone and turning 29 this year, he could be viewed as Leeds’ future first-choice striker.
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