Leeds United have been “honest” about the fact that the price they paid for young striker Joe Gelhardt was small, according to Phil Hay. 

The Athletic journalist – who said that every time he’s seen Gelhardt play he looks like a “massively talented player – added that the only reason that Leeds got him for the bargain price of £700k upfront is because Wigan were in administration.

Gelhardt – who had made the breakthrough into the Wigan first team – has been kept in the Under-23s so far this season but has already been turning heads and a bigger role surely awaits him at Elland Road.

Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast Hay said, “He [Gelhardt] has been hugely impressive with the 23s and every time I see him he looks like a massively talented player.

“Leeds have been quite honest in saying the money they paid for him – £700k up front from what I’ve heard – is small for a player with a massive amount of talent.

“The only reason they could get involved at that level of valuation is because Wigan were in deep trouble and in administration.

“In the opinion of most people, he’s worth a lot more money than that.”

Gelhardt – big player for the future

We really felt for Wigan last season, a team that put in an incredible performance in the second-half of the season, only to be narrowly relegated because of a points deduction.

Plenty of Wigan fans were distraught at losing Gelhardt for less than £1m and it does seem that Leeds have bagged themselves a bargain.

We’ve watched Gelhardt this season and he looks a real player.

Signed as a striker, he can also play in the number 10 role and he showed what he can do from a slightly deeper position in the last Under-23s game against Crystal Palace.

The goal was a fantastic solo effort that saw him dance through the opposition backline after picking up the ball about 35 yards out.

Against Newcastle Under-23s on Friday, Gelhardtw was at it again, scoring one and setting a brilliant goal up.

Plenty of fans are already calling for him to get in the first-team but there are lots of other players between him and a place in the 18-strong matchday squad. We don’t expect to see him on the bench for the game against Crystal Palace today.

However, this is far from a normal season and injuries/Covid-related issues could see Bielsa having to dip deep into his squad.

It’s good to know that if he does have to do that, that the quality of player is high in the Under-23s squad.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa confirms key Leeds star set for late fitness test, 3 players ruled out v Palace

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