'I have massive hopes for this player' - Exclusive: Whelan Wowed by Leeds recent teen signing
Noel Whelan has “massive hopes” for Leeds United summer signing Joe Gelhardt after he made an immediate impact on the club’s Under-23 side.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Whites and Coventry forward tipped the 18-year-old to also make his mark on Marcelo Bielsa’s first team in the 2020/21 campaign.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post the teenage striker is already making a “huge impression” at Thorp Arch following his near £1million move from Wigan Athletic in August.
✍️ #LUFC are delighted to announce the signing of Joe Gelhardt from Wigan Athletic on a four-year deal
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 10, 2020
He penned a four-year deal at Elland Road upon his arrival and looks set to spend the season with the club’s Under-23 set up despite having made 19 first team appearances for the Latics last season.
However, Whelan was adamant that first team opportunities would be presented to the teenager this season.
“I have massive hopes for this player,” he told Football Insider.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“We knew he was talented from the amount of clubs that were looking at him. Leeds signed him for a very good price off the back of an unfortunate situation at Wigan.
“He is a little starlet and I believe that he is going to prove to be a very good acquisition for the not only the Under-23s but the first team this season.”
Speaking shortly after his arrival in August, Gelhardt said: “I like scoring goals and being creative and I’m not scared to take on an opponent, of course I’ve still got a lot to develop as a player, but Marcelo Bielsa he is a great manager and hopefully I can develop under him.
“As a child you dream of playing in the Premier League, it’s the best league in the world and hopefully I will get the chance to do that this season.”