Leeds teen already proving why he was ‘cut price of a lifetime’
In our relaunched weekly Scout function, we take a deep dive into an rising participant on monitor to turn into a footballing celebrity earlier than our very eyes.
This week’s version focuses on Leeds United ahead Joe Gelhardt, a participant lately described as a ‘cut price of a lifetime’…
Gelhardt, 18, made his senior first-team breakthrough with boyhood membership Wigan Athletic within the in the end ill-fated marketing campaign of 2019-20.
Regardless of his tender years and Latics’ perilous state of affairs, the teenager was afforded ample alternative to impress.
Gelhardt amassed 18 Championship appearances, nevertheless it was his worldwide type during the last 18 months that took the attention. He conquered each the under-17s and 18s with a goalscoring ratio of higher than one strike in two. A promotion to the under-19s duly adopted in October.
Together with his inventory rising month by month, the Premier League vultures started to circle.
Wigan’s monetary points necessitated a fire-sale of a number of of their hottest prospects, with Gelhardt rousing the attentions of Liverpool and Tottenham after tentatively being described as ‘the subsequent Harry Kane’.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds Utd emerged victorious within the sweepstakes, nevertheless, with the versatile ahead introduced on board for the extremely beneficiant sum of £1m.
Why the hype?
A standard theme in soccer is to reel off an extended record of attributes a teenager possesses in his locker. In Gelhardt’s case, it’d be easier to record these he doesn’t have as a ahead. There’s just one – expertise.
Initially working primarily as a centre-forward with Wigan, Gelhardt has shifted to a deeper function with Leeds within the Premier League 2. Regularly deployed as a second striker, the positional alteration permits the 18-year-old higher alternative to showcase his biggest asset – lightning fast toes.
That almost all eye-catching trait centres across the huge quantity of touches he takes whereas dribbling with the ball. That’s not from an absence of sure-footedness, nevertheless. Fairly the alternative.
He possesses the uncommon capacity to dribble at tempo with out the ball ever leaving his shut space of management. His fashion will entice and bamboozle high class defenders in equal measure.
The sight of an unlucky marker lunging right into a sort out he had little probability of constructing will quickly turn into commonplace.
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Reminds you of a younger…?
Presently standing at 5 ft 9in, his stocky construct, gifted left foot and sharp acceleration instantly brings up visions of Liverpool’s enigmatic ahead Xherdan Shaqiri.
His shut management and innate capacity to lure unsuspecting defenders into committing fouls can also be paying homage to Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish when charging ahead in full movement.
The distinction between these two aforementioned Premier League gamers, is consistency. Shaqiri is usually a 9 out of 10 one week and barely crack a 5 the subsequent.
Grealish is the precise reverse, and it’s that consistency that Gelhardt should discover if the Premier League is to turn into his playground within the years to come back.
The obvious comparability although is that of Wayne Rooney. Liverpool, born, of stocky construct and a beautiful attacking expertise, who likes to drop deep.
🤯 What a objective Joffy! pic.twitter.com/knnsSs6MX9
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 1, 2020
Impressed? Take a look at YouTube compilations of his 2019-20 season. You received’t remorse it.
The Consultants’ View
It may be notoriously troublesome to guage a younger participant from afar. In consequence, the phrases of these monitoring the participant on a day-to-day foundation assume higher weight.
Wigan Put up journalist, Paul Kendrick, described Leeds’ acquisition of the starlet because the ‘cut price of a lifetime’.
James. Mate. Save this tweet. You’ll by no means in your lifetime see Leeds decide up a much bigger cut price than Joe Gelhardt at £1million. You don’t have any concept how good this child will turn into. 👍
— Paul Kendrick (@PKendrickWIG) October 3, 2020
Excessive reward, so that you’d assume with that degree of expertise, being handed his Premier League bow by Bielsa can’t be far off, proper? Right, and it might be coming prior to you assume.
The Argentine supremo lately revealed he has been keeping track of the efficiency of their under-23s squad “intently”, with Gelhardt particularly stated to be “progressing” nicely.
Inform us one thing we don’t know…
Referred to those that know him as ‘Joffy’, it was left to his devoted Mum Lynne to elucidate why…
“It’s truly from the basic Nineteen Eighties’ movie ‘Coming to America’ starring Eddie Murphy,” she instructed the Wigan Night Put up.
“James Earl-Jones performs Murphy’s Dad – King Jaffe Joffer, King of Zamuda.
“Joe’s uncle, additionally known as Joe, was nicknamed Joffy and the moniker was handed to his nephew!”
An ideal match for…?
The apparent reply is Leeds, however the larger query is in what place.
Regardless of his once-erratic type in entrance of objective, Patrick Bamford is the primary identify on Bielsa’s teamsheet. Gelhardt is unlikely to alter that within the close to future.
Spanish summer season recruit Rodrigo has lately been deployed behind Bamford, although Bielsa has proven no qualms over working with a wholly left-footed ahead line with Helder Costa and Jack Harrison on the flanks.
Begins would look like an bold thought at this stage, however don’t be stunned to see Gelhardt given the duty of offering an influence from the bench in an analogous vein to that of fellow teenager Ian Poveda because the season wears on.
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