Leeds United fans have become well accustomed to the stunning skills of Joe Gelhardt but leaked training footage threatens to raise the bar of expectation even further.
The summer signing from Wigan Athletic has been a revelation for the Whites U23s side that has taken the Premier League 2 (Division 2) by storm.
Gelhardt, 18, has struck 11 goals and laid on three assists in 15 league games [Transfermarkt] this season.
Such form has led to calls for him to be handed a first-team debut in the near future and footage of a sensational display of technique will surely see those voicers grow louder.
LUFC Youth posted a video on their Twitter profile of Leeds training where Gelhardt flicked the ball up with his right foot before thundering a stunning shot on goal that battered the crossbar, leaving the goalkeeper stranded and teammates with hands on heads in awe.
The unofficial Leeds youth academy accounted captioned the tweet: “What A Goal That Would Have Been. Joe Gelhardt with an unbelievable effort during training.”
What A Goal That Would Have Been🤩
— LUFC Youth (@leedsutdacademy) April 8, 2021
It was a breathtaking piece of brilliance but we shouldn’t even be surprised now – we’ve seen his unbelievable abilities in prior training clips and U23s performances on countless occasions.
Now is the time to unleash him on the Premier League.
The Whites starlet earned himself a spot on the first-team bench for five successive games in February with a number of injuries to regulars like Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo.
But he’s been conspicuous by his absence in three of the last four fixtures – our trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham is the only time he has been included in a matchday squad since February 27.
However he could capitalise on the unavailability of Jack Harrison this weekend.
Harrison is ineligible for Saturday’s match-up with Pep Guardiola’s star-studded Manchester City side under the terms of his loan agreement.
That opens up a slot in the 20-man squad and we think it would be a travesty if Gelhardt is not rewarded for his fine form this season with a place on the substitutes bench.
Behind Patrick Bamford we don’t really possess a striker who can lead the line with Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts unconvincing at times and also preferred by Marcelo Bielsa in midfield.
With our Premier League safety all-but secured we should be blooding our young talents who have shone at U23 level and none have sprinkled more stardust than Gelhardt.
Clips posted online such as the training-ground one on Gelhardt will only rouse Whites supporters further who want to see a first-team debut, and what an occasion it would be on Saturday against the Premier League champions-elect.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay makes Patrick Bamford contract claim.