Leeds United have been handed a major boost over Joe Gelhardt ahead of their Premier League clash against Watford.
What’s the story?
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has revealed that the Whites starlet is all set to feature at Vicarage Road despite limping out of the under-23s’ victory over Crystal Palace last Monday, handing Jesse Marsch a late boost for the clash against the relegation battlers.
On Thursday, the journalist tweeted: “Gelhardt is yet to train this week but he’s due to train tomorrow and is expected to be available for the Watford game. Marsch says he felt Gelhardt needed game time in the 23s, which is why he played on Monday.”
Great news for Leeds
Having seen Patrick Bamford go down with injury against Wolves, Marsch had the big decision to make as to who would lead the line against Southampton last time out.
The Whites earned a 1-1 draw against the Saints, but it really showcased why Gelhardt should really be in contention to start up front.
Dan James showed why his lack of natural striking instincts can let him down, with Leeds Live‘s Beren Cross giving him a six in his post-match player ratings and saying: “Ran the channels and with the space Leeds had in the first half, James had the pace to get sights of goal. Fraser Forster equal to the lot though. Lacking that composure and close control around the box to keep chances alive for the team. Easily smothered by defenders.”
On the other hand, Gelhardt’s introduction as a substitute gave Leeds a bit more threat and impetus, with Cross noting of the teenager: “Again showed immediately why he’s a natural at the head of the attack. Knows where to place himself, draws fouls, carries the ball, goes past people and gets in the box.”
It was no surprise that Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has been hugely impressed in what limited game-time the 19-year-old has had so far at Elland Road, saying: “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.”
The news that Gelhardt is expected to be available for the game against Watford is sure to have fans buzzing.