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'He can compete at this level': Marcelo Bielsa lauds Leeds player who has 'worked a lot'

Marcelo Bielsa has insisted that he has not been at all surprised to see Joe Gelhardt shine in the Premier League for Leeds United, claiming that he has worked hard to earn his place in the side – in comments reported by Leeds Live.

Gelhardt made his first-team debut for the Whites earlier this term. It came after a stunning season with the under-23s following his move last year.

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In fact, it surprised many that he had to wait so long for that chance under Bielsa.

His Premier League bow at Elland Road came with a game-changing cameo against Wolves. It was his run that led to Leeds being awarded the penalty that allowed Rodrigo to score a stoppage-time equaliser.

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He made his first start in the competition on Sunday as Leeds travelled to Tottenham without Patrick Bamford, Raphinha and Rodrigo.

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Most 19-year-olds would have probably been daunted by the prospect of leading the line against Spurs’ back three.

However, Gelhardt showed no fear. There were some outrageous flicks. And he made several impressive runs with the ball.

He did tire as the game went on. But it was unquestionably a fantastic showing from the forward.

He has taken to the first-team stage superbly. But Bielsa claimed that he is not at all surprised by his early success.

“In some ways, when I put an unusual player in the XI it’s because I’m convinced he can offer a positive result,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live.

“Does not surprise me he can compete at this level, but he has worked a lot to gain these opportunities he has been given.”

Gelhardt performance against Tottenham shows why Leeds have such a special talent on their hands

Gelhardt’s performance showcased his bravery. He did not appear to feel the pressure of the occasion in the slightest.

He also left Hugo Lloris with a bit of work to do with a couple of attempts on target.

It was a display that showed why Gelhardt just looks destined for such a brilliant career.

So it should not be a surprise if he continues to get minutes once Bielsa is able to call upon Bamford, Raphinha and Rodrigo once again.

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