By Nick Ware

14th Sep, 2021 | 7:00am

Paul Robinson delivers Leeds United-Joe Gelhardt 2021/22 verdict

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.

Paul Robinson suggests Marcelo Bielsa has sent a big hint over Joe Gelhardt’s role in his Leeds United side this season.

Gelhardt, 19, joined Leeds from Wigan Athletic last year and enjoyed a stellar debut campaign for the Under-23 side as they romped to the Premier League 2 [Division 2] title.

He’s yet to make his Premier League debut but he has been named on the bench a number of times, including for the trip to Burnley on August 28.

However, ex-Whites goalkeeper Robinson thinks his lack of involvement in the 3-0 League Cup win over Crewe at Elland Road last month is a reminder of his status in the side.

“I think if we were going to see him it would have been against Crewe,” Robinson told MOT Leeds news.

“You look at the strength of the side the manager put out against Crewe, it was an XI he could have put out in the Premier League, so if he was going to give these players an opportunity it would have been then.

“You can see that the League Cup is an opportunity for Leeds to get some silverware, to build some winning momentum.

“The manager obviously thinks a lot of him, he’s not gone out on loan, he’s kept him in and around the squad.

“He’s on the bench, but I don’t think he plays if Patrick Bamford is fit, it’s as simple as that. The manager likes him that much and he’s that key to the way Leeds play, he’s as important as Harry Kane is to Tottenham Hotspur. If he’s fit he plays, so I think Joe Gelhardt’s opportunities will be limited and I think the manager relies on his more experienced players as well at times.

“I think if Patrick doesn’t play you’ll see Rodrigo playing down the middle, Raphinha playing down there maybe, and he’ll chop and change system rather than younger personnel, unless he needs an impact off the bench.”

In other Leeds United news, Harvey Elliott responds to Pascal Struijk’s Instagram message after Liverpool incident.