The mystery over what’s happened to Joe Gelhardt has grown deeper, with BBC journalist Adam Pope claiming that the young Leeds United striker is not injured.
Gelhardt hasn’t been seen in action for the under-23s since before Christmas but there’s been no official word from the club.
There was no sign of him again for the Under-23s on Monday as Diego Llorente scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Stoke.
One Leeds fan asked after Gelhardt following the game and Pope said, “I’m told he’s not injured.”
I’m told he’s not injured.
— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 18, 2021
Gelhardt makes it three in ’21?
Gelhardt has been playing well for the under-23s, with five goals in nine games, and there were some fans hoping he’d make his debut against Crawley.
Sam Greenwood made his first-team bow in that FA Cup but Gelhardt hasn’t been seen since December.
However, the first Leeds Under-23 game of the year was on January 11, the day after the Crawley game.
That timescale fits in with a potential COVID issue for Gelhardt, with Leeds sticking to a policy of silence over the issue.
If that is the case it shows that Leeds are starting to pick up positive results, after an almost perfect record last year.
Tyler Roberts and Illan Meslier have both been missing for Leeds this year after just Rodrigo tested positive last year. Gelhardt would make it three in 2021.
It’s impossible to know for sure given how Leeds are approaching COVID but it seems that this is the most likely explanation for Gelhardt’s disappearance.
Given the dates, it means he could make his return in the next Under-23s game, away at Wolves on Sunday.
In other Leeds United news, Report: Leeds ‘are ready’ to move for midfielder wanted by Bielsa – 6-month loan, no obligation