By Saikat Mandal

29th Dec, 2022 | 3:40pm

Jermaine Beckford thrilled with Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt, slams Rodrigo in 3-1 loss v Manchester City

Jermaine Beckford has been left impressed with Joe Gelhardt as Leeds United lost 3-1 against Manchester City in the Premier League on Wednesday (28 December).

The former Leeds striker, who also works for BBC Sport, has suggested on Premier League World Feed post-match show that the 20-year-old was the game-changer for Jesse Marsch’s side when he came on.

However, Beckford was far from happy with the performance of Rodrigo who failed to make an impact in the game and didn’t trouble the City defenders at all.

“The game completely changed when Joe Gelhardt came on. There was more of an attacking threat. Rodrigo didn’t do enough for me,” said Beckford on the Premier League World Feed (28 December).

Cameo

Gelhardt came in the 71st minute in place of Rodrigo and looked lively on the pitch.

Many had expected the youngster to take his game to the next level after impressing heavily the last term, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The latest performance should give Jesse Marsch and the Leeds fans hope about Gelhardt regaining the old spark that he showed last season.

Pascal Struijk pulled one back for the home side with a brilliant header, and Gelhardt nearly scored after coming on.

Rodrigo, in contrast, had only 24 touches in the game [WhoScored] and failed to make clever runs into the box.

The Spaniard has been in great form this season, but his performance against City is another timely reminder to Marsch that he needs to sign a proper striker in January.

One of the main reasons why Leeds didn’t sign a recognised centre forward is that they probably didn’t want to halt the progress of Gelhardt.

The youngster, who has made just one start in the league so far, must grab these opportunities and prove to his manager that he deserves to start regularly.

In other Leeds United news, we can exclusively reveal a big update on Stuart Dallas’ recovery from his fractured femur.