Speaking recently on a video posted on the Leeds United Live Facebook page, Joe Donnohue provided an update on the situation of Leeds centre-forward, Joe Gelhardt.
Since arriving at Leeds from Wigan Athletic in what was a £900k deal back in August of last year, Gelhardt has been one of the stars of the club’s U23 side, scoring five goals and providing one assist over his nine Premier League 2 appearances, helping his side to top the Division 2 table.
However, despite his impressive displays, the £1.17 million-rated 18-year-old has yet to feature for Marcelo Bielsa’s first team, notably being left out of the club’s recent squad to face Crawley Town in the FA Cup, despite the fact that a number of young players were awarded game time in the fixture.
This was one subject of conversation on a recent video posted by Leeds United Live on Facebook, in which Donnohue discussed the reasons behind Gelhardt’s absence.
He said: “It was disappointing to see him not involved [against Crawley] and not involved [for the U23 side on Monday] as well. As far as we know it’s just business as usual. It could be an injury, he could have been suffering from a knock and [it was] not really worth risking him.
“We haven’t heard anything on the transfers front regarding him, or injury, so I think it’s just [that] he probably suffered a knock but we don’t really know on that one. Hopefully, he’ll be back in the setup pretty soon because he’s been great, he’s been fantastic for the U23s.”
Is Gelhardt good enough for Leeds' first team?
TIF Thoughts on Joe Donnohue’s comments regarding Joe Gelhardt…
From Donnohue’s comments, it would appear as if there is not much behind the absence of Gelhardt, as the journalist claimed that he was unaware of a potential ongoing transfer regarding the 18-year-old, or indeed of an injury that the striker may have picked up.
As such, we would expect to see Gelhardt back in action for the club’s U23 side sooner rather than later, in which the forward can continue impressing and working towards securing a spot in the first-team squad.