The 18-year-old forward, who is now valued at £1.17 million (as per Transfermarkt), joined from boyhood side Wigan Athletic over the summer and has impressed in his first season with the West Yorkshire outfit, bagging eight goals and providing three assists in 14 Premier League 2 appearances.
After summer-signing Rodrigo was sidelined for Friday’s win over Fulham with his latest injury setback, Gelhardt was rewarded for his recent performances by Bielsa, who placed him on the Leeds bench at Craven Cottage.
Following the 2-1 victory over the capital club, Bielsa was asked whether the teenager was ready for the significant step up in quality that the English top-flight would provide: “These questions are answered when the player competes and shows that he is ready,” he said (via Leeds Live).
“He has a role in which he occupies in the squad. He is where he is on merit with regards to the players that the club possesses, but to say how he’s going to play when it is his turn is difficult.” However, it appears as though the Leeds supporters feel the England Under-18 international is more than ready to make his debut.
“Should have played him long ago, he’s far superior to Roberts, don’t forget he’s had a season in the Championship just like most of other players, should have brought him on for Bamford very Fulham, favouritism with a huge F !!!!.”
“I’d love to see him get some game time before end of the season!”
“When he gets on the pitch I think he will be great”
“unleash the moment we are mathematically safe. Confidence is huge for strikers”
“We need to give this lad minutes and see how he gets on, otherwise we have to strengthen up top for next season in case Paddy gets injured.”
“Playing with better players would only make Gelhardt better, his passing, tackling, shooting end to end energy would be a miracle to the first team, get him on asap!!!”
“3 more points and I think he will get plenty of game time to see how good he really is in my opinion”
Leeds have impressed throughout the current campaign and find themselves sitting in 11th position, 13 points above the relegation zone. With a second consecutive season all but guaranteed, it’s easy to understand why so many supporters are keen to catch a glimpse of this promising youngster on the biggest stage.