Leeds United youngster Joe Gelhardt has been impressive during his stint with the club’s under-23s this season as they sit within touching distance of promotion.
With top flight status came a lot of investment for Leeds in the academy last summer and perhaps the star of that has been Joe Gelhardt.
The England youth international signed from Wigan Athletic and his goals for Mark Jackson’s under-23 side have put them on the brink of promotion to the PL2.
March has seen Leeds play four times, winning three to come within just a win from promotion, where Gelhardt took part in the wins.
His performances have been the shining light of that run of three straight wins, with four goals and one assist his solid haul.
Amongst those was a hattrick away to West Brom last time out with two from the penalty spot that he helped create.
It has seen him nominated for the PL2 Player of the Month award for March:
Marcelo Bielsa is yet to hand the striker his senior debut at Leeds but his efforts are being noticed as he features in the matchday squad.
His latest recognition saw plenty of Leeds fans keen to plead for his debut before the end of the season…
It surely won’t be long before we see Gelhardt handed a debut off the bench but I can’t see Bielsa looking to shoehorn him in over other players.
We’re going to play our strongest team from now until the end of the season and that’s the way it should be, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be chances for Gelhardt to feature in the squad.
He’s shown his worth in the youth setup and it should be enough to see him getting minutes in the first-team but we shouldn’t force it.
We saw from Robbie Gotts’ patient wait for a debut that it’s not going to be given to him for the sake of it, but as a tactical decision.