Former Scotland international Frank McAvennie believes youngster Joe Gelhardt should feature regularly for Leeds United next season.
The Lowdown: Gelhardt impresses at Leeds
Gelhardt is seen as one of the most exciting youngsters at Elland Road, with the 19-year-old scoring three goals in six caps for England Under-18s.
While the forward is yet to make his senior Leeds debut, he has been excellent for the Under-23s, bagging 11 goals in 17 appearances last season, also chipping in with three assists.
The Latest: McAvennie makes big claim
Marcelo Bielsa could be looking to sign another attacking player this summer, but McAvennie believes Gelhardt could step up to the plate.
Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-West Ham striker claimed the teenager would be a ‘better’ option than someone like Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah:
“I think a youngster like Gelhardt is better suited to that role. They have boys coming through and Leeds fans will want that. Every fan wants to see top players coming through their academy.
“They get given more time as well, there’s more understanding there as a young player too. The fans won’t immediately be on their case if it doesn’t go right for them.”
The Verdict: Time for Gelhardt to shine?
There is no doubt that Gelhardt looks a young player of huge promise based on his record at the youth level – he has also been called a ‘special talent’ by former Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook – but making the step up to a team that finished in the top-half of the Premier League last season could be a big ask.
Leeds are in a position where they could be aiming for the European places in 2021/22, so the need to signing top-quality players is clear to see.
If Bielsa believes Gelhardt is ready to be a regular in the squad, he will show faith in him, but not signing anyone could prove to be a big risk if the youngster struggles, which is perfectly normal for a teenager’s first crack at the big time.
In other news, a reliable journalist has made a big claim regarding Leeds’ interest in one player. Find out who it is here.
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