Leeds United managed to acquire exciting prospect Joe Gelhardt in the summer and Phil Hay has revealed the crucial role Marcelo Bielsa has had in his development.
What Hay had to say about Gelhardt
Phil Hay has reported via The Athletic: “Leicester City had the same idea and made enquiries of their own but according to sources close to Gelhardt, he was “blown away” by the way in which Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta presented the offer from Elland Road to him.
“As Leeds like to do with senior recruits, they put together video packages comparing and contrasting his performances for Wigan with the way Leeds set up under Marcelo Bielsa. By then, the 18-year-old had made 18 appearances in the Championship, 16 as a substitute. Bielsa is understood to have taken part in one of the Zoom calls to Gelhardt’s agency and Gelhardt has lost significant amounts of weight since moving to Yorkshire, working towards a place in Bielsa’s match-day squad for the first time against Crystal Palace last week.”
Bielsa’s impact at Leeds is huge
The fact that the player looked to completely change his fitness regime following the Zoom calls Bielsa had with him and his agency shows the great impact the manager has in football and the crucial role he had in getting this deal over the line.
A report back in December revealed that Leeds had the highest sprint output of any club in Europe this season, and that’s directly as a result of the kind of conditioning work Bielsa surely does and the intensity to which they train and play.
Getting Gelhardt to buy into that and seeing him lose ‘significant amounts of weight’ is testament to the teenager’s work ethic, and the Leeds boss’ crucial hand in his development.
The young forward looks an exciting prospect and the fact that the 18 year-old has seven goals in 13 appearances for the U23 side (Transfermarkt), and has recently worked himself into Bielsa’s match day squad emphasises that Leeds could have a star in their ranks. Phil Hay spoke about the forward in the past on his podcast, calling him ‘massively talented‘.
With Leeds comfortably in a mid-table position, it could be possible that fans will see Gelhardt feature in the Premier League before the end of the season.
In other Leeds news, the club have managed to tie down an exciting prospect. Have a read here!
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