Joe Gelhardt hasn’t played for the Leeds United under-23s this year and he was missing from the squad again on Monday at Thorp Arch.
That’s got plenty of fans talking about what’s happened to him.
The answer is that no one knows outside of the club.
BBC journalist Adam Pope delivered an update on Monday when he said, “I’m told he’s not injured.”
I’m told he’s not injured.
— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 18, 2021
That left a positive COVID test as the most likely explanation for his absence.
However, Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth has said that is not the case.
Writing in a Q&A on Wednesday, Smyth said of any injury problem, “Not as far as we’re aware and we did ask the question this week.
“His 23s absence this week wasn’t Covid-19 related either.
“We have been hearing good things about him since he arrived, and seeing good things. There are no suggestions of any obvious issues, so hopefully he’s back in the side very soon. He and Sam Greenwood look like players who could justify the excitement around them.”
If Gelhardt isn’t injured and he hasn’t tested positive for COVID then there’s obviously some other external issue that’s keeping him away from the Under-23s and we hope it’s sorted soon.
It really doesn’t appear to be an issue with Leeds.
Just one week ago, Marcelo Bielsa was talking about him in glowing terms after the first Under-23s game of the season.
Gelhardt didn’t play in that but Bielsa said of him and his talented teammates, “They are players who can be submitted to some bigger challenges than the under-23 games. There was a lot of expectations that these players can have minutes, as well as Gelhardt and Cresswell because they have been playing well to deserve minutes.” [Leeds Live]
The fact that so many fans are talking about an Under-23s player who’s still to make the jump up to the first team is a sign of how well regarded Gelhardt is with the fanbase.
We hope that everything is getting sorted and that we can welcome the attacker back to the fold soon.
In other Leeds United news, Pundit exclusive: Bielsa hand forced on issue that’s put him on collision course with Leeds fans