Joe Gelhardt signed for Leeds United from Wigan and has become heavily involved in the academy setup. He has put in some good performances and Marcelo Bielsa has teased that he could make his debut in the first team soon enough.
What Bielsa had to say when questioned about Gelhardt
Speaking in his press conference before Crystal Palace, Bielsa was asked how pleased he is with the progress of the forward and whether he is a contender for the bench.
In reply, the manager said: “Yes, he is a player that is progressing. The evolution of the whole U23s team, we follow it closely.
“We analyse every performance of the U23s as if it were the first team and because normally we train with 22 players and when we are missing any of those we sub them with the U23s.
“I think that around 50% of the U23s players can apply for a place on our team.”
Could we see him feature for Leeds soon?
The forward is definitely seen as a player for the future as he has featured for the England U18’s. He is finding some form too, scoring at the weekend against Crystal Palace U23’s to double his tally for the club in his five appearances. Former manager Paul Cook once praised the starlet’s ‘unique talent‘ to ‘find space in a telephone box‘.
Leeds are without striker Rodrigo and Raphinha also faces a late fitness test before the weekend trip. This leaves them with attacking substitutes Tyler Roberts, who has only managed 24 goals in his career, and Ian Poveda, who only has ten senior appearances to his name.
Therefore if Gelhardt was going to be given a chance, even just as a bench player, now would be the best time. We could definitely see him feature in the match day squad if there are more notable absentees.
In other news, a former Leeds player gives his thoughts over a possible transfer target. Have a read who it is here!
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