By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

1st Oct, 2023 | 1:59pm

Leeds United: 'Huge' Joe Gelhardt issue mooted behind the scenes at Elland Road

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United …

Leeds United would be unlikely to sanction a loan move for Joe Gelhardt in January despite his lack of game time this season, according to Paul Robinson.

After the Whites’ relegation, many tipped the 21-year-old to earn minutes in the Championship. A decent second-division loan spell with Sunderland last season and 35 Premier League appearances put him in good stead to have an impact under Daniel Farke.

However, with just two Championship starts this season, the draw to West Brom and the Birmingham City loss, the young Englishman could be disappointed that his loan move to Ipswich Town was rejected this summer, as TEAMTalk claimed (1 September).

Despite this, Robinson suggests a “selfish element” to the Whites, claiming that while a loan move would be beneficial to get Gelhardt the game time he wants, a potential injury crisis would mean Daniel Farke would want to keep him at the club.

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “I don’t think the manager can afford to [send him on loan]. The playoffs are probably a minimum aim for Leeds this year, but they’re looking for an automatic promotion place.

“Look at the squad, we know that Patrick Bamford’s injury record isn’t great over the last 18 to 24 months or so. Look at the players that are playing like Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter. If one of those two or both were to get injured, he’s gonna need someone like Joe Gelhardt.

“Yes, he’s not getting his opportunity at the moment and he’s not getting his game time, which is a huge frustration for a player, especially of his age when he had such a big taste of it last year.

“I don’t know the situation with him and the manager, but I suspect that the manager would be reluctant to let him go until he gets Bamford back fully firing and fully fit, but even then you can’t guarantee it.

“The club have got a selfish element that they’re going to need him should certain situations arise. So, yes, the club would probably like to put him on loan, to develop him as a player to give him the opportunity to get those minutes that he wants and that he craves and to go and score goals.”

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims that big European clubs have been keeping tabs on a Whites player for a while and are still willing to sign him.