View: Jesse Marsch must hand more opportunities to Joe Gelhardt at Leeds United
By Jamie Waddell
In what has been a season riddled with high profile injuries at Leeds United, one young man’s progression is a shining light in what has been quite a dark season.
Born in Liverpool, Joe Gelhardt signed with Wigan Athletic in 2013 at the age of 10 and made his first-team debut in 2018.
After Wigan’s relegation from the Championship in 2020, Leeds snapped up Gelhardt on a four-year deal. Making his premier league debut in a defeat to Southampton, Gelhardt scored his first goal for Leeds against Chelsea on December 11th 2021.
With comparisons to Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe being levelled at him since his days playing for England Under-16s, Gelhardt has a lot of hype around him but has it got what it takes to make it in the Prem?
A dynamic player with a maverick flair, the more game time Gelhardt gets in the premier league the better he is playing. A prolific goalscorer for the England youth teams including 13 in 16 games for the Under-17s, Gelhardt is exceptional at ghosting into goalscoring position and striking at the right moment.
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Employed as a striker primarily at Leeds so far, Gelhardt is an accomplished passer of the ball, with a 67% pass success rate and on average 0.3 key passes per game [OneFootball]. Given his bit-part role so far these numbers show he has the potential to bring others into the game.
A tenacious player, Gelhardt will chase after loose balls tirelessly with an average of 0.3 successful tackles per game. He will have at least one shot on target per game and draw 1.4 fouls per game. Similar to Rooney, Gelhardt is a nuisance for defences with or without the ball.
Gelhardt is one of the shining stars in the Leeds team already and if Jesse Marsch gives him time and more opportunities he can go on to be a star player for Leeds in the Premier League.
In other Leeds United news, the club has a ready-made replacement for Crysencio Summerville.