Leeds United journalist Joe Donnohue has called for patience on exciting prospect Joe Gelhardt, saying there is a ‘long way to go’ before he is ready for the Premier League.
One name to come up, in particular, was Gelhardt. The 19-year-old was on the bench earlier this season in the league against Burnley but failed to get on, before finally making his senior debut at Craven Cottage as a substitute.
While speaking on a Leeds United Live Facebook stream, Donnohue claimed that as much as the teen is making ‘encouraging’ progress at youth level, fans should not expect him to feature regularly in senior league games just yet.
He said: “I think the progress that he’s made so far at Leeds, the progress that he continues to make, is really encouraging. We’ve seen that with him being involved in matchday squads.
“But I think there needs to be a realisation that there is a long, long way to go before he’s Premier League-ready. But, I mean, very, very encouraging for the time being. And I think he’s gonna have a fantastic year in PL2 with the 23s.”
TIF Thoughts on Joe Gelhardt and Leeds…
With a key game against West Ham in the Premier League coming up on the horizon, Gelhardt will have done his chances of first-team minutes no harm with his substitute appearance in midweek, having netted in the shootout victory.
Will Joe Gelhardt start in the league for Leeds this season?
Star striker Patrick Bamford is one player who is set to miss out at the weekend, so this could leave the opportunity for Gelhardt – who has 15 goals in 22 Under-23 appearances – to feature, even if just off the bench.
Other senior striking options in the squad such as Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts may be preferred, but Gelhardt’s appearance in the cup, could set him on his way to eventually getting a shot a Premier League football.
Though, as Donnohue suggests, that may take some time, so Leeds fans should be prepared to be patient.