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Leeds signing this promising 18-year-old rising starlet will be a smart move and a terrific investment

Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)
Joe Gelhardt in action for Wigan Athletic (Image credit: Google)

Why Joe Gelhardt would be a valuable addition for Leeds United

According to the Mirror (h/t Daily Express), Leeds United are set to sign Wigan Athletic striker Joe Gelhardt.

The 18-year-old has had a breakthrough campaign this season for the Championship outfit, making 19 appearances in total and scoring a goal in his side’s 2-2 draw against Hull City back in November.

Joe Gelhardt (left) of Wigan Athletic takes on Dael Fry of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between both sides at DW Stadium last February.
Joe Gelhardt (left) of Wigan Athletic takes on Dael Fry of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between both sides at DW Stadium last February. (Getty Images)

Gelhardt is also a regular in England’s under-18 side and has three goals from six matches, giving a clear idea of his goalscoring prowess. With the teenager rising through the ranks at Wigan and excelling for his country’s youth side, Premier League’s newly-promoted side Leeds United have expressed an interest in him.

Gelhardt can offer Leeds plenty of options in front of goal

Meanwhile, Leeds, under manager Marcelo Bielsa, have earned Premier League promotion after a gap of 16 years. The Whites led by Bielsa emerged as champions in the Championship this season as they mark a return to the Premier League.

However, Bielsa and Leeds would be aware that they need reinforcements in order to survive in the top-flight and have identified Gelhardt as a valuable addition to their squad. The young finisher is expected to be Leeds’ third summer signing after signing goalkeeper Illan Meslier and extending midfielder Jack Harrison’s loan move respectively.

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has helped the side earn promotion to the Premier League next season after a gap of 16 years.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has helped the side earn promotion to the Premier League next season after a gap of 16 years. (Getty Images)

Leeds will have to splash at least £1million initially to bring Gelhardt to Elland Road next summer. However, the deal could rise up to £2.5million with add-ons. At present, Leeds only have one established striker in Patrick Bamford.

Though Bamford has been impressive scoring 16 goals in the Championship this season, it won’t be enough to help them sustain in the physically demanding Premier League next season. Apart from Bamford, they have Jay-Roy Grot as a back-up. But the 22-year-old has been far from impressive and has a lot more to develop in his game.

Grot, who spent the 2019-20 season on loan with Eredivisie side Vitesse could manage just two goals despite making 22 league appearances, making complete sense of Leeds’ interest in Gelhardt.

Jay-Roy Grot (right) is yet to impress for Leeds United.
Jay-Roy Grot (right) is yet to impress for Leeds United. (Getty Images)

Hence, roping in a young and rising talent like Gelhardt will only add some much-needed depth to Leeds next season and offer Bielsa an extra option in front of the goal.

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Verdict

Leeds clearly lack depth in their striking department and this will not hold good for them when they return next season to the Premier League. Gelhardt is still in his teens and could go on to become an excellent future signing if he develops well.

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