Joe Gelhardt has enjoyed plenty of first-team action this season, largely due to Leeds’ woeful injury record.
The 20-year-old striker joined from Wigan Athletic in 2020, and largely featured in the youth setup until a string of major injuries to the Whites’ top forward Patrick Bamford, gave the youngster an opportunity to take.
Gelhardt headlines an ever-growing list of viable youth products at Leeds United, with Cody Drameh and Sam Greenwood also both impressing this season.
TalkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham fawned over the youngster back in October, when he spoke of his “astonishing” performance against Wolves. “What a player this kid is going to be” he stated on his talkSPORT show. (via MOT Leeds News).
This season, the 20-year-old managed a fine six goal contributions in 20 league appearances. With the majority of them also coming from the bench, this season he really lay down his claim for the often-vacant striker spot.
Not only this, but he boasts an impressive 6.75 average SofaScore rating, which again is even more impressive given his lack of starts.
The one thing that both Marcelo Bielsa and Jesse Marsch will have loved about the Merseyside-born attacker is his work rate. He ranks in the 99th percentile for pressures per 90, and in the 96th percentile for tackles made by strikers.
He is a manager’s dream, and this season he began turning this hard work into quality chances.
With Patrick Bamford so often glued to the treatment table, a spot seems to be opening up in Marsch’s side for a striker who can lead the press from the front. This fine breakout year will have done Gelhardt no harm in staking his claim.
Former Leeds United forward Paul Dickov was also full of praise for the youngster’s performances this season. Speaking on the BBC Football Daily podcast (via MOT Leeds news), he claimed he was:
“Delighted for young Gelhardt. He is an outstanding young talent.
“Whenever he is being called upon, probably not enough in recent games when Bamford’s been out. He is a real talent.”
This youngster seems to garner praise at every corner, and his performances over their tumultuous season should surely earn him some favour with his manager. Perhaps next season, with a solid run of games, he could cement himself as Leeds’ official number nine.