By Sean Fisher

23rd Sep, 2022 | 10:20am

Leeds United documentary reveals Victor Orta's first thoughts on Joe Gelhardt

Footage from the Leeds United documentary ‘Academy Dreams’ has revealed Victor Orta’s thoughts on Joe Gelhardt before signing the youngster from Wigan.

Orta is tasked with running the club’s transfer activity, and had seen enough of Gelhardt at Wigan to warrant spending £1.1million on his signature.

Gelhardt has since gone on to impress in Leeds’ youth setup, while also making the step up to the first team under both Marcelo Bielsa and Jesse Marsch.

Footage now released via the ‘Academy Dreams’ documentary (released on Friday, 23 September via Amazon Prime Video), shows Orta’s initial review of Gelhardt before submitting the bid.

“His intensity, his winning mentality, his range,” said Orta, as quoted by Leeds Live.

“He has the ice with fire.”

Diamond in the rough

While Orta’s line about Gelhardt sounds oddly like something from a fantasy movie, the Leeds sporting director has been proved correct by Gelhardt’s progression in the last two seasons.

At the time he made the Leeds switch, Gelhardt was a relatively unknown 18-year-old striker, but the Liverpool-born forward is now already pushing for a starting spot in Marsch’s lineup.

He scored some vital goals in the 2021/22 campaign to help the Whites narrowly avoid relegation, including a last-gasp winner at Elland Road against Norwich City.

There’s still plenty of room for improvement for Gelhardt, but he’s on the right track to becoming a big part of this Leeds squad, and he’s already justified his fee.

Following recent rumours that Chelsea are interested in poaching Orta to become their sporting director, it’s coups like Gelhardt that should remind Leeds fans to cherish his eye for talent while they can.

In other Leeds United news, pundit suggests ‘quiet’ Whites star could be unhappy at Elland Road