By Sam Stone

19th Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

Joe Gelhardt set for Leeds United loan exit as Wigan Athletic close in on deal

Joe Gelhardt looks set to return to Wigan Athletic as Leeds United look to send the youngster out on loan for the second half of the season, according to The Athletic.

The 20-year-old has seen game time hard to come by in the 2022/23 campaign and had been the subject of interest from playoff-chasing Swansea City (The Athletic, 19 January).

However, it’s understood the Latics have submitted a loan offer to the Whites and that the 20-year-old, who played against Cardiff as a substitute on Wednesday night (18 January), is open to a return to the DW Stadium.

Good move

This makes sense for all the parties involved. Gelhardt is a player who desperately needs more regular game time and a move back to Wigan would certainly see him feature consistently. He’s highly thought of at Leeds United but desperately needs to be playing regularly in what is a crucial stage of his development.

He’s been unfortunate this season. Willy Gnonto has exploded onto the Premier League scene and Crysencio Summerville has enjoyed a breakthrough couple of months. There are opportunities for younger players at Elland Road, however, Gelhardt has failed to grab the opportunity with both hands when he’s been given the chance by Jesse Marsch.

Furthermore, with the arrival of club-record signing Georginio Rutter, Gelhardt’s chances of Premier League minutes are likely to take a further hit.

It’s a shame things haven’t worked out for the 20-year-old this season, but he now has a golden opportunity to play himself into form and give Marsch something to think about when he returns in the summer.

In other Leeds United news, Andrea Radrizzani found out about this “incognito” Leeds player just before the FA Cup clash against Cardiff