By Craig Scott

2nd Dec, 2021 | 8:10pm

Phil Hay offers admission over Joe Geldhardt’s playing time amid Patrick Bamford’s return

By Tom Griffin

With Patrick Bamford edging closer to a return, Joe Geldhardt is aware that playing time will be at a premium at Leeds United, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay. 

Writing in a Q&A on The Athletic’s website, Hay infers that Geldhardt is “bright enough” to realise that a returning and firing Patrick Bamford significantly reduces the opportunities presented to the 19-year-old. 

Geldhardt has impressed in each of his three Premier League appearances, winning the penalty that Rodrigo dispatched in Leeds 1-1 draw with Wolves. 

“Privately I think he’ll be hoping for more minutes than he’s getting,” said ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay when asked about Gelhardt’s game-time. 

“But he knows how it works and he’ll be bright enough to realise that Bamford returning will reduce his chances further.

“I’d like to see him play more.”

It is clear, that like many Leeds United supporters, Hay is a big admirer of Geldhardt. 

But Bielsa is clever enough to know that throwing the teenager into the deep end at the start of matches would only increase the pressure onto his young shoulders. 

In three substitute appearances, Geldhardt has made an instant impact and having won the penalty against Wolves, it was his initiative to drive into the box that dragged Leeds away from the brink of a loss, with Rodrigo slotting home from 12-yards. 

Although Rodrigo levelled up the scores through his penalty, admiration and applause were aimed towards Geldhardt, who has looked every bit like a young Wayne Rooney since making his mark in the Premier League. 

Geldhardt has been the shining light when unleashed from the bench and with Tyler Roberts continuing to underperform as the spearhead of Leeds attack, the teenager would relish getting more minutes under his belt before Bamford returns. 

In other Leeds United news, Barcelona may want to sign this £100,000-a-week Elland Road ace.