By Mark Smith

24th Sep, 2021 | 9:15am

Phil Hay: Leeds have to time Premier League debut right for Joe Gelhardt

Leeds United finally handed Joe Gelhardt his first-team debut through the week in the Carabao Cup clash against Fulham.

After months of calls from fans for the former Wigan man, now all eyes are on the Premier League clash against West Ham.

Phil Hay has urged the club to bide their time and get it right, rather than just throwing a Premier League debut at Gelhardt this weekend.

Speaking on the Phil Hay Show this week, the journalist appeared to highlight that the younger talents will be protected to a certain extent.

“You do want to see him,” he said.

“You do see him score those goals as he did against Liverpool last weekend, and you think to yourself it would be great to see how he copes in the Premier League.

“You have to get it right, you do have to time it.”

Unlikely?

Marcelo Bielsa will have been impressed with how Gelhardt dealt with the pressure of the penalty shootout at Craven Cottage.

Having said that, in normal time after coming off the bench he struggled to make much of an impact against an experienced Fulham side.

With West Ham coming up tomorrow, it looks unlikely that Gelhardt will be on the pitch, but he will certainly be on the bench ready to step in if needed.

Patrick Bamford’s absence will likely hand the chance to Tyler Roberts, and there aren’t many who have a bigger point to prove than him at Elland Road.

The likes of Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood will be rubbing their hands together though, as if it doesn’t go well for the Welshman, they’re certainly next in line.

In other Leeds United news, Very strange’ – Mark Lawrenson predicts winner of the Whites’ clash v West Ham