Leeds: Phil Hay reveals strong interest in Joe Gelhardt
Phil Hay has admitted Joe Gelhardt is attracting interest from the Championship and knows he could leave Leeds United this month.
The Lowdown: Unclear short-term future
Despite only starting five league games last season, Gelhardt still played a hugely important role in their season as he scored goals against Chelsea and Norwich City, as well as an important assist against Brighton.
However, Jesse Marsch clearly hasn’t been impressed enough by Gelhardt as he’s handed him a sole start in the league this season amid various fitness issues, and coupled with the potential arrival of Georginio Rutter, Gelhardt’s future is far from certain.
The young striker signed a long-term deal with Leeds not too long ago which tied down until the summer of 2027, so he may not be shipped out permanently just yet, although a loan move isn’t off the table, according to Hay.
The Latest: Gelhardt attracting Championship interest
Gelhardt is reportedly a target for Swansea City this month if Leeds manage to sign a striker, as Hay confirmed on The Phil Hay Show.
He said: “It definitely wouldn’t spell the end for Gelhardt at Leeds.
“Leeds see him as a pretty big part of what will happen further down the line and he has a pretty long contract here, I think it’s until 2027.
“There is fair substantial Championship interest in Gelhardt; Swansea, in particular, are one of the clubs who’ve been mentioned to me and would like to take him.
“There’s been no decision on that because clearly, Leeds don’t have a striker in the door as it stands, but if a striker comes in and given the players who seem to be a little bit ahead of Gelhardt in the pecking order – Gnonto, in particular, but there’s Rodrigo in there as well and there is forever this perennial discussion about Bamford’s return and when he’ll be back and fit.
“To give Bamford the benefit of the doubt, if he does return and if he is fit, I think that squeezes Gelhardt out in the short term a little bit more again. So I suspect that if and when a new forward arrives, that is a discussion that is going to have to take place.”
The Verdict: Game time is the priority for Gelhardt
Given Gelhardt is at a tender age being just 20 years old he needs to be playing regularly because sitting on the bench and seeing his teammates such as Crsyencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Sam Greenwood getting regular minutes will just frustrate him.
Swansea would be an interesting move for Gelhardt as they are sitting just four points off the play-offs so it could be an interesting second half of the season they’ve also already scored 36 goals which is the fifth most in the entire division, so he’d get chances and he has the ability to finish them off having been labelled as ‘tremendous‘ after his assist against Brighton last season.
A lot will depend if Leeds can push through their big money deal for Rutter with the French youngster said to be costing Marsch’s side around £35.3 million, which would make him the club’s record signing.