By Daniel Feliciano

10th Jan, 2023 | 6:40pm

Joe Gelhardt close to Leeds United exit as Wigan line up January loan deal

Joe Gelhardt is close to signing for Wigan on loan for the rest of the season from Leeds, according to a report from Mirror Sport journalist Darren Witcoop.

The young striker has found game time hard to come by at Elland Road this season after the club brought in Luis Sinisterra, Brenden Aaronson, Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville to the first-team picture this season.

With young French forward Georginio Rutter also close to signing in a club-record deal this week, Leeds have now allowed Gelhart to leave in order to get more regular first-team football.

“Wigan overhauling their squad in January to stave off relegation,” he wrote on his personal Twitter account (10 January).

“Steven Caulker, Miguel Azeez and Joe Gelhardt either signed or close to joining. Burton striker Victor Adeboyejo expected to follow.”

Excellent

It’s a really smart and good move for Leeds United to allow Gelhardt to go elsewhere and develop now that they have strengthened the position.

The youngster showed last season that he is capable of performing at Premier League level when his performances helped the team to succeed and avoid relegation.

But this season he has found game time hard to come by and rather than let him stagnate and rot on the bench, a loan move away where he will play regularly and continue to develop in men’s football is the best thing for him.

With Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo’s future at the club far from guaranteed, there is no doubt that there is a chance for Gelhardt to go off and perform before returning to Elland Road next season and shining again.

As for now though, it’s a deal that suits all parties and we’ll all be watching with keen eyes to see if he can help save Wigan the way he helped save Leeds last season.

In other Leeds news, one player is “actively pushing” for a move to Leeds according to Phil Hay