“He’s like a human wrecking ball. I like him, he’s really exciting. He’s fast, he’s aggressive, he gets on the ball, he takes people on. Once he gets into the box, he loves it. That’s where he can do most of his damage.”

Joe Gelhardt introduced himself inside 42 seconds of his first Premier League begin for Leeds United final weekend at Tottenham, and Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp was filled with reward for the 19-year-old.

The former Wigan Athletic academy product wasted little time in making an impression, turning contained in the opposition half and driving on the defence earlier than being hauled to the bottom by Japhet Tanganga.

For the three,000 Leeds supporters who made the journey down south final weekend, and for the supervisor Marcelo Bielsa, his spectacular show got here as little shock.

Gelhardt – or Joffy as he’s nicknamed – performed with nice confidence and spoke of his satisfaction regardless of Leeds slipping to a slender 2-1 defeat.

Saturday twenty seventh November 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

“I think we were unlucky with the result,” he mentioned. “In the primary half, we had been superb and second half I believe we simply could not take in the stress.

“We were pinned in, couldn’t really get out and they just took advantage of that. I think in the start of the second half we had good chances, I had a couple that I could have put away. But that’s football, we’ll be looking to work hard and go again next week.”

Gelhardt has sparkled as a level-headed particular person within the eyes of those that know him greatest ever since he joined the membership for £1.6m from the Latics in 2020.

Joe Gelhardt

The Liverpool-born ahead has scored 17 objectives for the membership’s second string in 26 video games – serving to Mark Jackson’s U23 workforce win promotion final time period.

It was again in September throughout Leeds’ Carabao Cup third-round tie at Fulham that Bielsa first known as upon his companies and the teen demonstrated his temperament in the course of the eventual shootout.

Making his first-team debut, Gelhardt volunteered to take the fifth penalty and scored as Leeds gained 6-5 at Craven Cottage.

Bielsa mentioned afterwards: “The young players showed personality and character. Joe had missed his last two penalties and took on board the responsibility and managed to score and Stuart McKinstry also had to take one in the most decisive moments and they showed character.”

Having made his first Premier League look within the defeat at Southampton, it was his affect off the bench towards Wolves that basically caught the attention.

Joe Gelhardt

Leeds had been heading for a fifth loss of their opening 9 league video games when he was launched within the 63rd minute nevertheless it was his fearless contribution that finally resulted within the hosts salvaging a draw.

Gelhardt was the catalyst for the dramatic late comeback with two makes an attempt on objective earlier than his driving run in stoppage-time drew a rash problem and penalty from Nelson Semedo.

Rodrigo saved his cool from 12 yards, changing a stress spot-kick as Leeds salvaged some extent from the jaws of defeat, and Gelhardt’s first Premier League begin on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was the following step within the participant’s pure evolution.

Joe Gelhardt also featured in the defeat to Arsenal
Gelhardt featured within the League Cup defeat to Arsenal

“No, I’m not surprised by his integration,” Bielsa completely tells Sky Sports. “In some way, when I call on someone who is not usually in the starting XI, it’s because I’m convinced he can offer us a positive result.

“It did not shock me that he was capable of compete at this stage as he has labored exhausting to deserve these alternatives. He has proven me that he’s somebody who has the appropriate instruments to have an effect with none issues.

“He’s a player that always creates danger in a game. He’s a player who’s more linked with the finishing of chances rather than the creation of them, but he has resources to beat an opponent and he has a final shot, a finish that is very good.”

Gelhardt has routinely been in contrast with Wayne Rooney throughout his quick profession because of his Liverpudlian roots; an analogous tenacity was seen in him accumulating a reserving towards Spurs for a foul on Eric Dier. His low centre of gravity, the way during which he makes use of his energy and chases misplaced causes actually had been features of Rooney’s sport, however Gelhardt is making a reputation for himself.

Having appeared to have moved forward of team-mate Tyler Roberts in Bielsa’s attacking choices, the participant actually doesn’t look misplaced, and Patrick Bamford has used his time properly on the sidelines to behave as a mentor for the ahead.

Bielsa continues: “Patrick should be viewed as a reference point for Joe as he is someone who can lend him plenty of experience in the role he is playing for the team. He is consulting him of course as a more senior member of the group.”

Patrick Bamford's goal for Leeds was his 98th in English league football
Patrick Bamford has not performed since September

Bamford stays out this weekend as Leeds make the journey to face Brighton, live on Sky Sports, with the England striker nonetheless within the strategy of recuperation following a severe ankle harm.

While his absence has enabled Gelhardt to grab his alternative, Bielsa has not dominated out utilizing the 2 strikers as a partnership as soon as Bamford is absolutely match.

“Joe’s primary position is to play as a number nine and this is also Bamford’s natural position,” he provides. “It may be that when Patrick is fit, I can play both together as they are different or it may be that I select just one of them at any given time.

There are virtues – the spirit of an beginner – that you simply present as a participant rising up which are obligatory with a purpose to achieve success as an expert and that is one thing we see in Joe.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa

“It depends on the opposition and the moment within a given game, but it’s certainly something I have considered already. It’ll be interesting to see how well they can combine.”

Bielsa refuses to take a lot credit score for the participant’s swift ascent.

Gelhardt developed throughout seven years with Wigan and the Argentine not too long ago made a cellphone name to Gregor Rioch, the League One membership’s academy boss and son of former Arsenal supervisor Bruce Rioch, to thank him for his work with the teen. Bielsa has seen sufficient to not hesitate in relation to choosing him once more this weekend.

“The unwritten law within the professional game is that those who are in the best condition are those who play,” he says. “I evaluate this ahead of every game, and this would be applied to Joe irrespective of the injuries we have had this season.

Gelhardt made 19 league appearances for Wigan
Gelhardt made 19 league appearances for Wigan

“There are virtues – the spirit of an amateur – that you show as a player growing up that are necessary in order to be successful as a professional and this is something we see in Joe.

“I’m at all times in deep dialogue with our U23s head coach Mark Jackson about how our academy gamers are growing almost about being able to kind a part of the primary workforce. The identical applies to our U18s.

“I watch all the games and I talk about them with our coaches because it interests me greatly what they think. Every player has the power in their hands to alter the hierarchy from within the team.”

Joe Gelhardt

Leeds’ 11 factors is their lowest complete after their first 12 video games of a league season since 2006/07, once they had been relegated from the Championship.

The Whites have had fewer factors at this stage in only one earlier Premier League marketing campaign, once they had been relegated in 2003/04, however Bielsa shrugged off any suggestion of this not being the perfect setting during which to name upon gamers corresponding to Gelhardt with restricted expertise.

“Irrespective of our current position in the league and whether therefore these are the right conditions in which to call on young players, it is part and parcel of being in the first team being able to adhere to what’s needed,” he says. “Being able to respond to what’s required is what makes them first-team players.

“The younger gamers naturally play with much less stress on their shoulders and play with extra freedom of expression, so it is not one thing that issues me in relation to choosing Joe and others. It’s not they who should tackle nearly all of the duty.”

In Joe Gelhardt, Leeds have a gem on their arms for the long run and for the current.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win over Leeds

One change for Leeds this season has been with their operating stats, which have dropped since final time period.

In normal, Bielsa’s facet have been averaging far much less distance lined per sport – highlighted by each their game-by-game returns, and six-game rolling common.

“The level of the competition hasn’t grown,” says Bielsa when reflecting on Leeds’ present place, two factors above the relegation zone. “I see a lot of similarities in terms of the quality of opposition as I did last year so I wouldn’t agree that we’re now just finding the division more competitive.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the diminished distance lined has not led to any discount of their urgent sport in line with the numbers, which counsel they continue to be among the many Premier League’s extra combative sides off the ball.

The defeat at Tottenham did maybe produce indicators of life when it comes to distance lined.


The guests’ 115.4km run towards Spurs of their final outing was their highest complete this season and since April.

That mentioned, they had been outrun by Antonio Conte’s workforce – the second time a facet has lined extra distance them this time period. It occurred simply as soon as in all of final season.

Leeds pondering exterior the field


An space Bielsa will need to enhance this season is the situation of his facet’s photographs.

Since the beginning of the final marketing campaign, no workforce has scored extra objectives from exterior the field than Leeds’ 19 with the membership additionally boasting the best conversion of such photographs since promotion (eight per cent) – a objective each 13.3 makes an attempt in comparison with the Premier League common of 27 photographs per objective from exterior of the field.

That mentioned, this season nearly half (47 per cent) of Leeds’ total photographs have come from exterior the field – the second highest proportion within the Premier League, and no workforce shoots from distance as continuously.

Last season simply 33 per cent of their photographs had been from vary, the second lowest proportion in Premier League.


Bielsa’s assault has been shorn of a penalty-box poacher given Bamford’s continued absence, however having already scored 5 objectives to this point this time period from exterior the field, Leeds have extra purpose than most to shoot from distance.

This was seen in the course of the sport towards Tottenham when each Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw had makes an attempt from exterior the field veer simply broad, nevertheless it highlights the difficulties Leeds are having to find the again of the web. Bielsa will hope his issues ease on the south coast forward of the hectic festive interval.

Watch Brighton vs Leeds on Sky Sports

Brighton vs Leeds

Brighton vs Leeds is live on Saturday Night Football on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports prospects can watch in-game clips within the live match weblog on the Sky Sports web site and app.

Highlights may even be revealed on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the ultimate whistle.


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