‘Remind you of Messi?’: Martin Keown blown away by Leeds player
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'Remind you of Messi?': Martin Keown blown away by Leeds player

Martin Keown has told Match of the Day that Joe Gelhardt completely changed the game when he came on for Leeds United against Wolves – and compared his run for the penalty with something Lionel Messi would do.

The Whites claimed a dramatic point against Bruno Lage’s men at Elland Road. They had gone a goal down early on.

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But from there, Leeds seemed to pile the pressure on without creating too much in front of goal.

Gelhardt was brought on with 28 minutes remaining. The 19-year-old had made his Premier League debut the previous week against Southampton.

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It had been a difficult afternoon for the forward on the south coast. Leeds were incredibly poor. And that left him struggling to really get into the game.

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But he had no problem making an impact against Wolves. He had a thunderous effort superbly tipped over by Jose Sa.

And it was Gelhardt who won Leeds’ penalty. He danced by Ruben Neves, before bursting into the box. And just as he reached the six-yard box, he was sent over by Nelson Semedo.

Rodrigo converted the spot-kick to send Elland Road into a frenzy. Judging by Keown’s comments however, that will certainly not be the last time Gelhardt steals the show for Leeds.

“Breath of fresh air when he came on,” he told Match of the Day when discussing Gelhardt. “Running with the ball. It was a difficult afternoon for Leeds. Wolves just sat back. He completely changed the game. I think that sometimes young players can do this in their performance.

“It was his willingness to run at the opponents. Absolutely first-class. Look at this [the run to win the penalty], does that remind you of Messi?”

Gelhardt proves he belongs in Leeds first-team as Keown makes Messi comparison

Of course, it is early days for Gelhardt. Keown himself made that point after the Messi comparison. And obviously, he is not suggesting that his overall game is on Messi’s level.

But Gelhardt certainly did prove that he belongs in the Leeds first-team with his performance.

He provided the spark Leeds desperately needed with his display against Wolves. And it will be very interesting to see how Marcelo Bielsa uses him in the games ahead.

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