Leeds United have suffered an injury blow as the new Premier League season approaches, with Joe Gelhardt hobbling off in the friendly win over Guiseley.
The Lowdown: Gelhardt impresses for U23s
A first-team debut may have evaded Gelhardt at Elland Road last season, but he caught the eye for the Under-23s, following his move from Wigan Athletic.
The 19-year-old scored 11 goals in just 17 appearances, also chipping in with three assists for good measure.
It may be that now is the time for Gelhardt to make the step up and become part of Marcelo Bielsa’s plans, but he has suffered a setback, in that respect.
The Latest: Youngster suffers injury blow
As reported by The Yorkshire Evening Post, the Englishman ‘took a knock’ in the second half in the 3-2 win over Guiseley on Tuesday night, and was promptly replaced.
The severity of the problem hasn’t yet been confirmed, but the hope is that it won’t hamper Gelhardt’s preparations for next season too much.
The Verdict: One to watch
It will be difficult for any young players to force their way into Bielsa’s plans in 2021/22, given the strength of the performances last term, but Gelhardt is definitely one to watch.
Admittedly, he remains completely unproven at senior level, but his performance for the U23s were undoubtedly impressive and he also scored five goals in as many games for Wigan’s Under-18s.
The youngster could potentially mature into a good backup option for Patrick Bamford over time, with former manager Paul Cook once hailing him as a ‘unique talent‘, but that path to first-team action looks to be delayed for now.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly keen on making a hugely exciting summer signing. Find out who it is here.
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