By Craig Scott

13th Apr, 2022 | 8:40pm

Joe Gelhardt worse off under Jesse Marsch than he was when Marcelo Bielsa was at Leeds United

Jesse Marsch has overseen a massive improvement at Leeds United since taking charge at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa may well go down as a club legend but there’s no denying that the Argentine was really struggling and the chance in leadership has, so far, proven to be the correct move.

Marsch has to be praised for the way he’s improved numerous players with Rodrigo and Jack Harrison among those who’ve started to really shine under the American’s leadership in West Yorkshire.

However, there’s one player who we’re not so sure would be pleased with his progress under Marsch and that’s young forward Joe Gelhardt.

The 19-year-old is easily the most exciting prospect Leeds United have got but he’s yet to start a single game for Marsch.

Despite his last-minute winner against Norwich, Gelhardt has been given just 104 minutes of game-time out of the 540 minutes played since Marsch managed his first Leeds game at Leicester.

In two of the last three games, Gelhardt has been an unused substitute with Marsch opting for Daniel James up front and even substituting in Sam Greenwood over the ex-Wigan ace.

Gelhardt’s had a minor injury in that time, yes. But it hasn’t been bad enough for him to miss out on a matchday squad so there’s basically no harm in him going out there and playing.

Gelhardt has more Under-23s starts for Leeds since Marsch took over than first-team starts and that’s a bit of a worry for us because this is a teenage talent who really cannot be ignored by the American.

Bielsa saw the potential in Gelhardt.

Speaking to Sky Sports on 27 November, Bielsa revealed just how much he loved having Gelhardt in his squad.

He said: “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.”

Bielsa gave Gelhardt ample opportunities even when his side’s back was up against the wall.

There’s less pressure on Leeds now than what there was at the back-end of Bielsa’s reign so we can’t see why Gelhardt isn’t playing as much.

In other Leeds United news, Laura Woods completely disagreed with Simon Jordan’s claim about Marsch on talkSPORT.