Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt shares his transition experience after joining Elland Road
Leeds United young striker Joe Gelhardt has admitted that he was left stunned when he joined the club.
The 20-year-old moved to Leeds from Wigan Atheltic, and the “biggest change” he noticed was the quality of the side.
He was also taken aback by the speed and physicality of the Premier League and admitted that it was hard for him to adapt straight away.
“The biggest change for me was the quality,” said Gelhardt in an interview with The Atheltic.
“Wigan were in the Championship when I left, we’d just got relegated, so my first few sessions here I was like “wow!” Even just the little things, like passes being crisp and proper.
“Then there was the physicality of Premier League fitness too, the speed of it. That was hard to adapt to. I had to change everything to try and get used to it.”
Gelhardt is a huge talent. Ever since he made the step from the Under-23 to the senior side, he has only impressed.
Marcelo Bielsa was quick to spot his talent, and the Argentine gave him his first Premier League start against Tottenham Hotspur last season.
Gelhardt managed 23 appearances last season, as he was fast-tracked into the senior side following the long-term injury to Patrick Bamford.
His situation is a conundrum for the club. During the summer, the Whites faced the dilemma of whether to sign a new striker who is experienced at this level.
While Bamford is expected to play a big part this season, Leeds needed another back-up option.
However, another new striker could have hampered the growth of Gelhardt and under no circumstances, Leeds were prepared to do that.
Gelhardt has got speed, skill and the ability to find the net. His movement and anticipation is brilliant, and he has all the potential to be a top-quality player in the future.
In other Leeds United news, this Leeds man is a “strong contender” to leave Leeds.