Leeds United supporters have taken to Twitter to drool over the performance of Joe Gelhardt as he shone for the U23s this afternoon.
The 18-year-old scored a hat-trick during Leeds’ 5-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion U23s.
Mark Jackson’s Leeds U23s sit 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League 2 table and ever closer to promotion in their first season at the level.
A number of senior Leeds players were involved in the game, including Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi, who are on their way back from injury, and Ian Poveda.
As well as a hat-trick by Gelhardt, there were goals for Crysencio Summerville and Sam Greenwood, as reported by Leeds Live.
Here’s how some Whites fans reacted to the display by Gelhardt in what was an impressive win for Leeds:
From Wigan with love
Gelhardt took his tally to 11 for the U23s in what has been an outstanding season for the young striker.
He signed for Leeds in August from Wigan Athletic, where he rose from the academy to establish himself in the Latics’ first team.
In the campaign before his Elland Road move, Gelhardt played 21 times for Wigan and scored on what was only his third Championship appearance.
Then Wigan manager Paul Cook came close to handing Gelhardt a game against his future employees when he was named on the bench for the Tics’ 1-0 loss to Leeds.
While Wigan crashed into League One amid financial meltdown, Marcelo Bielsa’s side went up to the Premier League as champions.
Gelhardt came with them but has yet to taste top-flight action.
Chances at Leeds few and far between
Bielsa’s main target has been to keep Leeds afloat in a division they tried so desperately to reach for such a long time.
This has meant using fringe and youth players such as Gelhardt hasn’t been worth the risk.
It also hasn’t been an option to use the England U18 international because of Patrick Bamford’s form.
14 goals in all competitions makes Bamford far and away Leeds’ top marksman and undroppable in Bielsa’s system.
Geldhart gets closer
Currently 13 points clear of the drop zone with nine games remaining, the Yorkshiremen can now begin to relax.
And that could mean valuable minutes for Gelhardt in the first team.
He has been an unused sub for six league games in 2020/21 as he gets ever closer to his shot at Premier League football.
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