Whelan: Leeds may hand Gelhardt debut v Fulham after 'incredible' footage emerges
Noel Whelan has suggested wonderkid Joe Gelhardt could make his Leeds United debut at Fulham tonight.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Whites ambassador hailed the 19-year-old “an incredible talent” after he starred for the club’s Under-23s on Sunday.
Gelhardt scored a breathtaking brace as Mark Jackson’s side thrashed Liverpool’s Under-23s 4-0.
As reported by Football Insider earlier today, star striker Patrick Bamford did not travel to London with the rest of the squad for their EFL Cup clash.
His absence could open the door for Gelhardt to make his long-awaited debut for the Whites.
Whelan claimed the teenager is “ready for that step up” to first team football.
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“Those goals show what an incredible talent he is,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
“You want to see progression and consistency from your players in the Under-23s and he is doing just that. He is really coming into his own. He is proving to be a fantastic purchase for Leeds United.
“When you watch him you can tell he has a great footballing brain and great technique. There are not many players out there that could produce the two finishes he did against Liverpool. He is on a different level.
“He is full of confidence and is not afraid to try anything. His performances are giving the manager a problem which is what you want from a young player. You cannot ignore him, that’s for sure.
“I do believe he is ready for that step up. I think he needs it now and it could happen against Fulham. He has proven that with his performances. He is maturing into a really top young player. I’m sure he would it would be beneficial to have him in the first team now.”