By Mark Smith

22nd Mar, 2021 | 5:05pm

MOT View: Marcelo Bielsa has no excuse, Joe Gelhardt must make PL debut v Sheff Utd

Leeds United under-23s took another huge step towards Division One of the Premier League 2 this afternoon by smashing West Brom.

The young Whites cruised to a 5-0 victory at the Birmingham FA, and they never left first gear and made it look consistently easy from whistle one.

It was Joe Gelhardt who took all of the headlines, as he smashed home a hattrick inside an hour as he once again staked his claim for the first-team.

There are no excuses now.

Marcelo Bielsa was there watching the under-23s very closely this afternoon and no one is more deserving of a spot in this side than Gelhardt at this moment in time.

The striker has had to watch the likes of Sam Greenwood and Niall Huggins get their opportunities during this campaign, and will be chomping at the bit to get stuck in.

Gelhardt was excellent on Monday, and his clinical streak would see him fit into the first-team with ease, even in the Premier League.

His physicality and skill mean he can play as a number nine, or even in the playmaker role that has been passed between Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts since promotion.

The 18-year-old simply makes the Premier League 2 look too easy, and he has to be unleashed in the big time now.

Roberts may have impressed recently, but he isn’t delivering any goal involvements when starting games; although VAR has made sure of that.

With Premier League survival all-but-confirmed, it is time for these under-23 stars to be handed the chance, and Gelhardt is leading that queue for sure.

Sheffield United have been dire this season, and with Paul Heckingbottom now in charge, what better way to punish them even further than unleashing our best talent on them.

In other Leeds United news, Raphinha sends message to Lucas Moura after Spurs v Villa