By Sam Stone

22nd Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

Angus Kinnear strongly hints Joe Gelhardt is on verge of Leeds United exit as loan speculation emerges

It’s been a tough season for Joe Gelhardt in a Leeds United shirt – and Angus Kinnear’s latest comments could well indicate that his departure is imminent.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay suggested (19 January) that the 20-year-old is set to join Wigan Athletic on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

It seems like a good move from the club, with Gelhardt in an important stage in his career where he needs to be playing week in and week out.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of the Brentford game, Kinnear could well have dropped a hint when it comes to the young forward’s future at Elland Road.

“Harry Kane had four different loan spells before he became England’s best striker and Championship experience is a significant step up from competing in Premier League 2,” wrote Kinnear (BBC West Yorkshire’s Adam Pope, via Twitter, 22 January).

It’s not hard to work out that Kinnear is referring to Gelhardt – and there’s every chance the young attacker will go on to be a success for Leeds in the future.

The 20-year-old has been somewhat unfortunate of late. Willy Gnonto was not expected to burst onto the scene in the way he has and Crysencio Summerville has endured a breakout season.

Had these younger players not been so influential for the Whites, there would’ve been every chance of Gelhardt being heavily involved in Jesse Marsch’s plans.

Everyone at Elland Road will be eager for the youngster to make an impact when he does eventually secure his move to the Championship – he will certainly get some much-needed gametime if he does return to the DW Stadium.

In other Leeds United news, visit our live transfer blog for around-the-clock updates straight from Elland Road.