By Paddy Kenny

5th Nov, 2021 | 7:00am

Leeds have made 'big mistake' after Gelhardt transfer news from Athletic - pundit

Leeds United should have sent Joe Gelhardt out on loan this season so he could gain valuable first-team experience.

That is according to ex-Whites shot-stopper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 19-year-old centre-forward.

The Athletic wrote on 29 October that Stoke City and Preston North End were interested in a loan deal for the youngster over the summer.

But it is reported that Leeds did not hesitate in knocking back the pair’s interest as they were keen to keep his development in-house.

Gelhardt signed for Leeds in August 2020 and made his debut 13 months later as a second-half substitute in a League Cup victory over Fulham.

He has gone on to play three more times for the senior side and won a late penalty on his home debut in the 1-1 draw with Wolves on 23 October.

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But Kenny argues that he would have been better off seeking more regular game time in the second tier.

For me, you can’t beat playing games,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

He’s a 19-year-old kid. Realistically, he isn’t going to get a huge number of games for Leeds this season.

“I find it strange that they wouldn’t let him go out on loan. Playing competitive football week in, week out is going to be better in the long term.

“The only thing I can think of is if they are expecting someone else to come in for him in January.

“Otherwise, I honestly think they might have made a big mistake this one.”

In other news, injury expert claims Marcelo Bielsa putting Leeds United stars as “serious risk” after training ground reveal.