Marcelo Bielsa has given huge credit to Leeds United prospect Joe Gelhardt, who is still waiting to make his first-team debut for the club.
The Whites managed to snap up the teenage striker in the summer in a £1million deal (The Sun) from Wigan Athletic.
He’s been impressive since linking up with the Leeds Under-23s side, plus he’s featured on the bench in the last two consecutive Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Crystal Palace.
The 18-year-old is yet to make his senior bow for the Yorkshire giants, but he did get a taste of first-team experience with 21 appearances for Wigan before his transfer.
Leeds first-team manager Bielsa has given a glowing verdict on the youngster when asked about him on Thursday.
“He’s a player that always creates danger in a game. He’s a player who’s more linked with the finalising of chances rather than the creation of them. He has resources to beat an opponent and he has a final shot, a finish that is very good,” Bielsa said, as quoted by Leeds Live.
For someone aged just 18, Gelhardt has looked a powerful striker with the Leeds youth team and he’s definitely knocking on the door for a debut.
It’ll be difficult for Bielsa to throw him in during an important league fixture, but the benefit for all the rising stars at Elland Road is they’ve seen there is a genuine pathway from the academy to the main group.
Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts are two versatile attackers that can cover for first-choice striker Patrick Bamford, but perhaps there is room for Gelhardt more regularly in the squad if he continues to impress Bielsa and keeps developing.