We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United
Paul Robinson has said that he thinks Joe Gelhardt is set for a run in the Leeds first-team squad.
Gelhardt has made a triumphant return to the Under-23s after being sidelined through January.
He played 90 minutes in the 2-0 win against Sunderland last week and scored two goals in 45 minutes in the win against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
He was taken off at half-time and plenty of Leeds fans think this was with an eye to the game against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Robinson believes Marcelo Bielsa will have been at Thorp Arch on Sunday to watch Gelhardt’s heroics and that the attacker is doing everything he can to get on the Leeds bench.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said, “With Ian Poveda and Rodrigo out, the Leeds squad is being really stretched. Poveda might not have been starting but he’s been a real impact player from the bench.
“Quite often he’s been Bielsa’s first choice when he’s looking to bring someone on.
“Helder Costa could now get another opportunity if Bielsa needs someone off the bench.
“But Gelhardt has done himself a huge favour with how he’s playing for the Under-23s and Bielsa will be watching him closely.
“Bielsa doesn’t just read a report from Under-23s games, he’s there at Thorp Arch.
“I’ve said before that I think Gelhardt will certainly get into the Leeds squad this season. He’s training with the first team and he’s doing all he can now he’s back in the Under-23s.
“I thought Leeds would beat Everton but after the recent results, it doesn’t really matter all that much.
“Leeds are three wins away from staying in the Premier League.”
Gelhardt missed his opportunity to make his Leeds debut in the FA Cup game against Crawley but that’s maybe no bad thing given how that turned out.
However, he’s looking really sharp at the moment and took his two goals yesterday brilliantly.
Getting taken off at half-time could mean he’s set for his first outing on the bench tonight but it could also just signify that Leeds thought the job was done at 4-0.
If not now, though, as soon as Leeds are safe we are almost certain that he’s going to make his first-team bow.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims big-money Leeds ace ‘barely’ good enough for bench, could cost club millions