Phil Hay has heaped praise on the Leeds United Under-23s but picked out Joe Gelhardt for special praise. 

The young striker signed from Wigan last summer and has been banging the goals in for Mark Jackson’s side who are flying high at the top of the Premier League 2, Division 2 table.

Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast, Hay said, “It has to be said the 23s have just about secured promotion and they have been a mile above the rest of the league.

“I know that there are first-team players included in the teams regularly but there are also a hell of a lot of 23s who are looking exceptional, Gelhardt especially.

“Everyone knew he was a steal when he came in and that he was very highly-rated, and I thought it told a story that Bielsa got himself on one of the zoom calls to help push the deal through and to make sure he didn’t go to Leicester.

“He looks incredibly talented.”

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Serious potential

Gelhardt can’t be far off a first-team debut.

He’s been included on the bench a number of times in recent weeks and he bagged another hat-trick on Monday for the Under-23s.

He’s strong and has obviously got a lot fitter since being at Leeds, showing off a much leaner physique than the stocky striker that joined from the Championship side.

It might be a big step up from the Under-23s to the Premier League but Gelhardt has played in the Championship and he looks so confident at the moment.

The timing has t be right and his minutes have to be managed but we think that he could be a surprise hit when he does finally make his debut for the senior Leeds side.

We think that will happen before the end of the season when Leeds are 100% mathematically safe from the drop.

That’s not that far away.

In other Leeds United news: Phil Hay delivers significant Leeds-Alioski contract update

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