Chelsea are monitoring the situation of Wigan Athletic’s teenage striker, Joe Gelhardt, according to Goal.
The 17-year-old forward is attracting a whole host of interest from some of England’s biggest clubs, including Liverpool and Everton, per Goal’s report.
Gelhardt made his debut for Wigan’s first-team in an EFL Cup clash against Rotherham last August, aged just 16. He made his league bow for the Latics in April, introduced as a second-half substitute against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, calling it a “dream come true”.
The teenage prospect has featured for the first-team this season as well, last weekend coming off the bench against Barnsley as the club drew 0-0 with the Tykes at the DW Stadium.
Manager Paul Cook certainly holds Gelhardt in high regard, telling the Wigan Observer that he felt the 17-year-old was “just so comfortable at this level” following a pre-season win over Burnley (via Goal).
Liverpool are thought to be front-runners to obtain the youngster’s signature, considering the fact that he is a lifelong Reds fan and would not have to relocate if he did make the switch to Anfield.
However, Chelsea are also thought to be interested in the front man, who will this week represent England at U18 level for the first time.
The Blues have reportedly been sending scouts to keep a track of the teenager’s progress, and could well make a move for the young striker when their transfer ban is lifted next summer.
Gelhardt is certainly making a name for himself as one of the Championship’s hottest prospects, and looks destined for a move away to a huge club in the not-so-distant future.
Should he continue to impress when given the chance to shine at his current club, it’s likely that we will start to hear more of this young man’s name very soon. Indeed, last season he scored three goals in three appearances for the Latics’ U18s in the FA Youth Cup, proving just what a talent he is.
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